We arrived in Australia last Wednesday minus a further player, Tim Murtagh had been pulled out of the trip.

He has been suffering with patella tendinitis for much of the county season. It's an injury I have suffered myself in the past and its no fun, at times walking even becomes a task in itself.

What that means is the guys that are out have to step up to the plate. In a way, with this being a preparation trip it is not a disaster.

The selectors know what Murts gives us and now have more of an opportunity to see what the other lads have to offer. Myself, Niall and William had touched down a few hours and we found out that Andrew White was to have surgery on his right index finger and would be taking no further part in the tour.

I was gutted for Whitey when I heard that because I know he was excited to be given the chance to come on the trip and show what he can do. He felt as though selection for the World Cup was in his own hands, if he perfomed then he had a chance, if he didn't then he was happy to accept that.

As far as I have heard it was a pretty regulation caught and bowled that did the damage. He said at the time that until he looked down he didn't even feel in any real pain. So we are now down to fifteen players with six games remaining on tour and no doubt all 15 will have a job to do at some point or other.

There will be people rested, people will pick up niggles here and there but hopefully we have had all the bad luck we are going to get with serious injuries. The first two games in Brisbane were by all accounts, tough going for the lads.

Queensland appear to be a very strong unit and start the One Day competition over here as favourites. Having said that, we are gong to come up against a lot stronger opposition in the World Cup and if we are going to go as far as we want and as we believe we are capable of then our level of performance will need to improve greatly. We are completely aware of that.

The whole point of this tour is to get used to the conditions, to figure out a formula that works for us...A reconnaissance mission.

Results are of course still important but the main thing is that we perform come February/March next year. We have added two new members to the coaching staff for this winter and they are welcome additions.

Matthew Mott and Carl Hopkinson are both highly regarded in their respective fields and their inclusion gives Phil and Pete Johnston more hands on deck and freedom to commit to things for longer.

I have already spoken a lot to Motty about batting and especially batting in Australasia and am enjoying hearing about his philosophy on the game. Hoppo is someone I am used to being on the opposing side to, for the last ten years he has been with Sussex, firstly as a player and now as a club coach so it will be good to get to know him as well.

There was one more addition to the wider Cricket Ireland family with Andrew Poynter and his partner Zoe welcoming baby Molly to the world a couple of days ago.

We enjoyed "wetting the baby's head" the night before we left for Canberra and naturally were all chuffed for AP and Zoe.

This week we have two games against The ACT Comets in Canberra, again on a ground that we will play on next March so another chance to sample conditions that are going to be upon us come the turn of the year.