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Ireland are now part of the furniture at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as they head into their seventh consecutive appearance at the showpiece.
A First Round exit in 2021 was a disappointment for Heinrich Malan’s side, and they will head into the 2022 edition hoping to make it past the first hurdle for the first time since 2009.
Ireland booked their place in Australia thanks to finishing runners-up in ICC Global Qualifier A behind the UAE.
They must navigate a group stage of Scotland, West Indies, and Zimbabwe in order to reach the Super 12 – so what can we expect from Ireland at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup?
Progressing to the Super 12 will be the aim for Ireland. Having won just one of their three games in 2021, Ireland will be hopeful of going one better in 2022.
Two wins will almost certainly be enough to extend their stay in Australia, with the games against Scotland and Zimbabwe the most likely sources, and victory in their opening two fixtures would take pressure off the final game against West Indies in Hobart.
This year’s squad is largely similar to last year’s, with household names such as Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie once more leading the side.
But Ireland will be buoyed by a summer spent playing against some of the world’s best sides in both T20 and ODI formats, and hope that will stand them in good stead.
T20 World Cup History
Ireland are regular qualifiers for the group stage of the T20 World Cup, appearing in seven of the past eight editions, but have only gone further than the landing pad on one occasion.
A Niall O’Brien-inspired win against Bangladesh was enough for progression to the Super 8 on debut in 2009 despite defeat to India.
But the next stage proved a step too far for Ireland, losing all three of their matches against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and New Zealand to exit the tournament.
Since then, it has been a case of fine margins with a rain-affected match against England meaning they agonisingly exited the groups in 2010 via net run rate.
It was to happen again too in 2012, this time West Indies the beneficiaries but Ireland will be hoping their performances in 2022 mean they will need no slice of fortune.
Ireland have embarked on a busy summer of T20 cricket in order to get in the best shape for their time Down Under.
Two losses to India, including a narrow four-run defeat, gave Ireland plenty of heart before another narrow loss against 2021 runners-up New Zealand.
More valuable exposure to top opposition in a two-game series against South Africa before a 3-2 series win against Afghanistan bolstered hopes of making it through the group stage.
Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling will hope to lean on all their experience and help Ireland put big totals on the board.
The duo have nearly 200 T20I appearances between them and will hope to combine for a solid opening partnership and set strong foundations for Harry Tector.
Tector, 22, has been playing at No.4 for his country and his unbeaten knock of 64 against India was a snippet of what he can potentially bring on the big stage.
Mark Adair will lead the attack with ball in hand, with the seam bowler taking 72 wickets in T20Is since his debut in 2019.
The 26-year-old will be joined by medium pace all-rounder Curtis Campher and fellow seamer Josh Little, who made his T20I debut aged just 16 in 2016. Sami Singh and Gareth Delany will bring the spin options.
Ireland face Zimbabwe on Monday 17 October, followed by the Scotland match on 19 and the final fixture against West Indies on Friday.