Photo Credit: Zimbabwe Cricket
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today announced the first-round Groups, match dates and venues for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with Ireland set to face India, Pakistan, USA and Canada in Group A.
While the tournament will be co-hosted by the West Indies and USA, all of Ireland’s first-round matches will be played in the US – two matches in New York and two matches in Florida.
The first Group Stage fixtures for Ireland are:
- 5 June: India Men v Ireland Men (New York)
- 7 June: Ireland Men v Canada Men (New York)
- 14 June: USA Men v Ireland Men (Florida)
- 16 June: Ireland Men v Pakistan Men (Florida)
The tournament features four Groups of five teams in the first round, with the top two teams from each Group advancing to the second round Group stage. The top two teams from the second round Group stage will then progress to the semi-finals, with the Final to be played in Barbados on 29 June.
Prior to the tournament proper starting, Ireland will play two official warm-up matches against opponents and at venues yet to be revealed.
The four first-round Groups are:
- Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, USA, Canada
- Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, Oman
- Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea
- Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Netherlands, Nepal
Reacting to the draw, Heinrich Malan, Head Coach of Ireland Men, said:
It’s always an exciting time for players and fans alike when a World Cup draw is revealed and the planning begins in earnest. To be drawn in a Group that includes India and Pakistan is a tantalising prospect and should attract big crowds, while also to face one of the co-hosts on their home soil adds some spice, and Canada have a proven pedigree in this format so will be a challenging encounter as well.
It may be a cliché to say that no match at a World Cup is easy, but the Group we have been drawn in absolutely exemplifies that saying. One secret weapon we may have up our sleeve, however, is an enormous Irish ex-pat population in the US, and we absolutely call on the members of the Irish diaspora in the US to put on their green and come out to support our lads.
As we demonstrated on the recently concluded tour of Zimbabwe, we are building an exciting, resilient and fearless brand of cricket in the shortest format and we hope to evolve this further over the coming months.
For now, however, we begin our specific planning for our opponents that are now known. We have plenty of cricket to look forward to in the lead up to the tournament – starting with a highly anticipated multi-format series against Afghanistan in March. Personally, I can’t wait for 2024 to start and to see where we can take this talented group of players.