Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
The Ireland Wolves are in Windhoek, Namibia for an eight-match white ball series at the Wanderers Cricket Club starting on Monday. The series includes three T20’s and five 50-over matches in the space of just sixteen days. Here is all you need to know about the series.
The squad left Dublin on 15 March and will spend several days training and getting acclimatised to the conditions before the first match.
Curtis Campher and Ruhan Pretorius were both called up to the squad late – with William McClintock and Ross Adair having to withdraw from the tour with a positive COVID tests, and Fionn Hand having to delay his departure date after receiving a positive COVID test. However, Pretorius also tested positive and will delay his departure as well.
The Wolves will be captained by 21-year-old Neil Rock – the Rush Cricket Club wicket-keeper previously captained the Irish Under-19s.
This tour is an opportunity for some players on the periphery of the senior men’s team – such as Shane Getkate, James McCollum and Ben White – to get some precious game time, whilst also giving others the chance to step up and stake a claim for selection ahead of a jam-packed summer programme of international games.
For new Ireland Senior Men’s head coach Heinrich Malan it’s the first opportunity for him to run the rule over players looking to breakthrough into the senior squad.
Speaking ahead of flying out to be with the squad Heinrich Malan said:
“I’m really excited about jumping on a plane and joining up with the boys. It will give me a real clear understanding of what we have outside of the current Irish squad. I’ve been following the last two months pretty closely with regards to how we’ve played and who’s done what, but this is one of the keys areas we’ve spoken about – trying to build a squad that can compete over a period of time, understanding how a team plays and trying to build that squad aspect. No better time to get into that than an away trip to Namibia. Pete Johnson, Ryan Eagleson and a lot of the other support staff from the Senior side are on this tour so it’s a really good opportunity to build some connections and start putting together some of our thoughts.”
Asked about his coaching philosophy he said:
“My philosophy is more about the process than the outcome. I get up in the morning and want to improve my players. If I can do that over periods of time then hopefully that wonderful thing called winning takes care of itself.”
Speaking about the upcoming summer schedule he said:
“We’ve got a great opportunity with the upcoming schedule that’s just been released for this summer where we’ve got the most amount of cricket that’s ever been played in Ireland. Great opportunity against some full-member nations that have shown they can compete at the highest level for long periods of time. We’ve shown over periods that we can compete and upset them. It’s trying to get our feet under the table in these first couple of weeks and trying to make sure we hit the ground running come the end of June for those two games against India, which is an exciting prospect.”
On expectations he said:
“Expectations around International cricket are that we’ve got to try and win. That’s the understanding of high-performance sport that I grew up with. That’s the expectation that fans around the world have, not just around the Irish side, but all teams that compete at the highest level.”
• 21 March: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 1st T20 (Windhoek; start 2pm local time)
• 23 March: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 2nd T20 (Windhoek; start 2pm local time)
• 24 March: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 3rd T20 (Windhoek; start 2pm local time)
• 29 March: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 1st ODM (Windhoek; start 9.30am local time)
• 30 March: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 2nd ODM (Windhoek; start 9.30am local time)
• 1 April: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 3rd ODM (Windhoek; start 9.30am local time)
• 3 April: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 4th ODM (Windhoek; start 9.30am local time)
• 5 April: Ireland Wolves v Namibia A – 5th ODM (Windhoek; start 9.30am local time)
Follow the series
• Follow the series via our Match Centre: https://live.nvplay.com/ireland/
• All eight matches will be live-streamed (link to be advised)