The upcoming ICC Women’s World T20 2018 is expected to be a fiercely competitive tournament and is probably the most high-profile one in six editions since it comes on the back of a highly successful ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
But while the focus is likely to be on top teams like defending champions Windies, three-time champions Australia and ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 champions England, the 16-day tournament gives an opportunity to other teams to make a mark on the world stage in a format seen as the vehicle for the development of the game.
Ireland are taking inspiration from their women’s hockey players, who finished with their first ever medal in a World Cup when they reached the final in London in July-August.
Captain Laura Delany wants to show the world that Irish cricket is on the rise and her enthusiasm is not doused by the fact that they are in a tough group that includes Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.
“From the moment we qualified for the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament, our minds have turned to the challenge ahead. With Australia, India, Pakistan and New Zealand in our group, we may be considered outsiders to progress, however, we will head to the Caribbean with the confidence that we came through a tough season and finished on a high.
"We proudly watched on as our colleagues in Irish hockey surpassed all expectations at their recent World Cup (reaching the final of the tournament played in London), and have taken inspiration from their fearlessness when confronted with higher-ranked opponents.
“Two of our longest term squad members, Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe, have both announced that this will be their last tournament for Ireland, and we plan to send these two legends of Irish women’s cricket off with some performances that we can all be proud of.
“Come the 11th of November, when we step out on the field in Guyana against the Southern Stars, we’ll be ready – and if we can play to our full potential, then we can show the world that Irish cricket is on the rise.”