Now that the dust has settled on Ireland Women's failure to qualify for the T20 World Cup, we take a look at why Thailand usurped them, and the lessons to be learned for future campaigns.


Thailand were far from a 'surprise package'. This was their third win  in a row against the Irish and they hold the world record of 17 consecutive T20 international victories.

They are a settled side who have played a hell of a lot of cricket in the past year. Living in Thailand I see just how many competitive games at all levels of international youth and senior level the girls/women are playing.

The climate means they can train almost all the year round and very few if any games/tournaments are affected by the elements.

CricketEurope's Andrew Nixon on their rise also pointed out to the spine of experience in their ranks.

Thailand women played their first ever match in July 2007. Today was their 119th match. Nattaya Boochatham has played in EVERY SINGLE ONE. Somnarin Tippoch has missed just one match, and has been captain in all but three. Boochatham captained in those.


Ireland by contrast were far from a settled unit with four teenagers and three players in their early 20's. There were only two players in the squad aged over 30, with an average age of 22 and four of their starting 11 having played ten games or less.

The retirements of four of the Irish sides most high profile/successful players of the last 15-20 years all at the one time has undoubtedly left a huge void to be filled and while there were encouraging signs from some, it ultimately proved too much to fill in such a relatively short space of time. As well as the Joyces, Ciara Metcalfe and Clare Shillington's departure, Lucy O Reilly took a 'time-out' and the loss of the influential YMCA opening bowler was a significant one.

Adding to the unsettled nature of the squad was the departure of long time Head Coach Aaron Hamilton a few months before following a review. 'Sacked by mutual consent' was the outcome. The affable Aussie had overseen two successful T20 World Cup qualifying campaigns but was denied the chance of a third.


Ed Joyce was appointed interim coach for the summer and at this tournament there were a total of SEVEN support staff. When you consider that the 2007 Ireland Men's World Cup squad had a total of five, then you do get a sense of overkill. Still, there can be no excuses of not having adequate support in Scotland.

This year also saw the landmark awarding of player contracts, so hopefully these will continue, expand and bear fruit in tournaments to come.

Rob O'Connor, a former Irish youth coach and one of the leading coaches at the successful Leinster club, voiced his concerns on Twitter about the lack of emphasis on club cricket by the Cricket Ireland hierarchy.

"Hard luck to the Irish Women today. Young squad so nothing to be dramatic about but until CI stop ignoring club cricket across the country we are not going to improve. Get more girls playing and give them good support and we will produce a world class team in the future."


Ireland don't score enough runs in T20 cricket. Their totals tend to be in the 80-120 range and while this may be enough against Associate sides, it will never win matches against Full Member countries.

Only one player - Gaby Lewis (104.76) - has a strike rate above 100. Much like Paul Stirling with the men, the team is over-dependent on Lewis to get them off to a fast start. If she fails then there aren't any who can power Ireland to a match winning total.

In yesterday's line-up, five of the top eight have strike rates in the 70's - that equates to a total of 80-90 which is exactly what we achieved against Bangladesh - 85.

Eimear Richardson was the only player in the innings to have a strike-rate greater than 100 - was she too low at number seven? That was certainly the view of the commentary team of Niall O'Brien and Isobel Joyce.


The team is almost exclusively comprised of South Dublin players. They are there on merit but if the sport/team is to grow then a wider geographical spread is needed. Easier said than done. There are a few green shoots in the NCU and NW area but are at the embryonic stage.

There are initiatives ongoing but these will take time. I genuinely worry about the game in the NW where teams continue to fold and the league is now down to five/six teams, and where many scheduled fixtures don't proceed for a variety of reasons.

There's no doubt that Ireland Women, especially at youth level, don't play anywhere near the quantity or quality of matches needed.

The same could be said of the boys youth but hopefully the failure of the U19's to make the World Cup will see that remedied in the coming years.

It's not all doom and gloom. The team battled bravely and almost managed to defend 85 against Bangladesh, with medium pacers Orla Prendergast and Sophie MacMahon impressing.

Kim Garth is still only 23 and if and when Lucy O'Reilly returns then the bowling unit has at least a decade or more in front of them. Celeste Raack's leg-spin adds variety and hopefully she can bounce back after a disappointing tournament.

Mary Waldron's superlative catch was the champagne moment of the tournament, and her keeping remains of a high standard, while the general ground fielding was pretty good even if the catching was at times hit or miss.

The main area the Irish will have to redress is the lack of power in the batting. While there undoubtedly has to be a role for one or two accumulators, the modern game is built on boundaries and the Irish need to hit more.

Plenty to ponder for Ed Joyce and Ireland as they put the disappointment of this competition behind them and start the hard work for the next one.