Team Ireland at Cricket World Cup

Team Ireland squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015:

William Porterfield (captain), Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, Andy Balbirnie, Ed Joyce, George Dockrell, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson (wicket keeper), Craig Young, Stuart Thompson, Niall O'Brien, Tim Murtagh, Andy McBrine.

Team Ireland's performances in Cricket World Cups:

Ireland wasn't eligible to participate in cricket world cups till 1992 since they were not an ICC member. They didn't qualify for next three world cup editions till 2003. 

Ireland made its Cricket World Cup debut in 2007. Overall they have played two world cups and a total of 15 world cup matches (won - 4, lost - 10 and tied - 1). Ireland has also participated in four out of the five ICC T20 World cups held so far. 

Ireland was placed under Group D with the likes of host West Indies, Pakistan and Zimbabwe in 2007 cricket world cup. This was an adventurous world cup for Ireland as they shocked various cricket pundits around the world.

They faced Zimbabwe in their debut match of world cup at Sabina Park, Kingston in Jamaica on 15th March 2007. Ireland scored 221 for 9 in their quota of 50 overs. In reply Zimbabwe were bowled out for 221, thanks to some really tight bowling in the end by team Ireland. Hence Ireland's first ever match in a cricket world cup ended in a tie!

The next match was another big upset in cricket world cup history that also brought a lot of cheer in Ireland's camp. Playing against Pakistan on 17th Match 2007 at Sabina Park again, Ireland managed to bowl out Pakistan for just 132 runs! Boyd Rankin claimed three wickets giving away just 32 runs from 9 overs. There were two exceptional bowling performances that came from Andre Botha and Kyle McCallan. Botha bowled 8 overs, 4 maidens, gave away just 5 runs and took two wickets. Economy rate of just 0.62! McCallan bowled 5.4 overs gave away just 12 runs and took two wickets. Due to some rain and bad light Ireland were provided a revised target of 128 runs in 47 overs. We saw some good fightback from Pakistan but ultimately Ireland clinched a win with three wickets left. Ireland were able to eliminate Pakistan from the world cup of 2007. Later they lost to West Indies in the group stage but still qualified for the Super 8 round.

They played six matches and managed to win just one. Even that was a great moment for the debutant team Ireland to beat an already settled team of Bangladesh in world cricket. This win came on 15th April 2007 at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown in Barbados.

Ireland did another great job to win the qualifying tournament again and feature in the 2011 World Cup that was played in the Indian sub continent. Placed in Group B, Ireland played six matches but could win just two. Although Ireland couldn't proceed to the next round, they would always remember this world cup for their emphatic win over England at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. It was another unbelievable upset of cricket's history where inspite of England score 300 plus runs, lost to Ireland.

Batting first England scored a mammoth 327 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Trott (92) and Bell (81) were the highest scorers for England. In reply we all witnessed one of the best world cup innings from Kevin O'Brien. He smashed 113 runs from just 63 balls with 13 boundaries and six towering sixes. Notably he reached his 100 in just 50 balls which gave him the record of fastest century in cricket world cup history. 

Ireland was the first team amongst the associates to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. After a thrilling tie against Netherlands in the World Cricket League Championship match they qualified for their third consecutive cricket world cup. The next to qualify was Afghanistan.

Ireland is well known for some fearless cricket and hence they are well capable for few more upsets in the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2015. Let us see how they perform this time while they are placed in Pool B with the likes of India, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and U.A.E.

By Tejas Thakkar

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