There can be few, if indeed any, international sports squads who are as eminently qualified as the Ireland Women's cricket squad currently playing in the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

No fewer than 13 of the 15 playing members have either attained University degrees or are in the process of doing so.

Age is the only factor stopping it being a full house, as 14 year old Lucy O'Reilly and 16 year-old Elena Tice are still in secondary education at St Andrew's and St Gerard's schools respectively.

Skipper Isobel Joyce obtained her degree in Journalism from DIT, working part-time as a sub-editor, before giving it up last year to concentrate on other pursuits which fitted in better with her sporting lifestyle. She is currently employed as a hockey coach, while also working as a Zumba instructor at Olive 3 studios.

Twin sister Cecelia, a history graduate from the world famous Trinity College, has recently qualified as a solicitor working for the prestigious Dublin company Arthur Cox.

Off-spinner Eimear Richardson has spent the last two winters abroad playing and working in New Zealand. She graduated in Sports Management from University College Dublin, and is currently employed by Wellington as their Women's Education Officer.

Vice -captain and wicket-keeper Mary Waldron also attended UCD, where she obtained an Arts Degree in French and Italian, and currently works as a service administrator for Elite Healthcare. Waldron is a dual international, having represented Ireland at soccer.

Ireland's most capped player Clare Shillington is a Durham University Geography graduate, and like Isobel Joyce is a qualified hockey coach. She also is heavily involved in cricket coaching at YMCA, whom she recently joined after a long career at Malahide.

Kate McKenna is another qualified hockey coach, playing at Railway Union where she along with the Joyce twins are part of a very successful side which will be competing in the European Championships next month. She played hockey in Spain for a year, while successfully obtaining her Degree in Spanish and International Business.

Opening batter Emma Flanagan may be keeping a closer eye on her team mates than most - she is currently studying for her MSc degree in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University in England, and is hoping to forge a career in this field once her studies are completed later this year.

Bowlers Louise McCarthy and Laura Delany are both studying Sports Science degrees at IT Tallaght, while Jenny Gray is in the third year of her Science and Microbiology course at Trinity.

Melissa Scott-Hayward is in her final year studying Bio-Medical Engineering at DCU, although she is currently on a break to focus on her World Cup appearance. In order to pay the bills, she is currently waitressing as none of the current squad are on contracts.

Rebecca Rolfe from Leinster is the most qualified of all the talented squad. Having obtained a science degree from Trinity and an MSc from UCL, she is about to become Dr Rebecca Rolfe, as she is completing her PHD in Bone Development with particular emphasis on cartilage regeneration - also at Trinity.

The backroom staff aren't without their share of qualifications either. Manager Suzanne Kenealy, a former Irish international herself, has a Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management, and is also qualified as a fitness instructor.

Physio Niamh Connolly obtained her BSc Science degree (majoring in Anatomy) from NUIG, and after gaining her RCS1 in Physiotherapy, is continuing her studies at The University of Ulster in Jordanstown taking a MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Coach Trent Johnston went through perhaps the toughest education of all the squad - 'The University of Life'! He 's hoping Ireland finish the group stages of their campaign today (MON) on a high note when they face Pakistan at the International Stadium in Sylhet.

A win for Ireland would see them into the 7-8th place play-offs, while defeat would consign them to a battle to avoid the wooden spoon - most likely against hosts Bangladesh.