Zimbabwe: Ireland embarks on Zim tour
The IRELAND women’s cricket team are due in Zimbabwe today for the historic One Day International series in Harare next week.
The Irish, who are under the tutelage of former Ireland and England national teams cricketer Ed Joyce, left their base yesterday with a strong squad of 15.
The teams will play four ODIs, starting next Tuesday.
All matches will be played at the Harare Sports Club.
This tour is crucial for both sides as it will be the first official ODI series for the women of Zimbabwe since obtaining ODI status, in April of this year.
These will also be the first ODIs played by Ireland Women since June 2018.
The tour precedes the world qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be held in Zimbabwe in November.
Tourists believe the competitions will give them the opportunity to experience local conditions ahead of the all-important tournament next month.
“This tour will be an important part of our preparation for the World Cup qualifiers next month and will provide the team with a great opportunity to experience the playing conditions in Zimbabwe and at a key host site,” Joyce said.
“In recent months we have focused primarily on T20 cricket, so these matches are even more valuable to players as a way to reset their approach to adopt the longer format of the game.
“Several of the team’s players were part of the 2018 squad that visited Zimbabwe – and although this series suffered due to heavy rains, the competitiveness and quality of both teams were tested, and we expect so that this series is no different. “
The Irish squad will be deprived of several players, due to unavailability, but retain a strong core of the T20 squad, which featured in the Europe T20 qualifying tournament.
They finished second in the tournament and hope to get confirmation that they will advance to the Global Qualifier.
Zimbabwe won qualifying for the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in Botswana a few weeks ago.
They are expected to start preparations for their first ODI series today in Harare.
The Zimbabwean players are expected to return to camp, having had a week off to recover from the busy schedule they had in Botswana, where they played seven matches, in 10 days.
The victory earned them the ticket to qualify for the final qualifying world tournament for the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup proper.
The series is part of both teams’ preparations for qualifying for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup, to be held in Harare in November.
The tournament will decide the other three participants, for the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
The women of Zimbabwe and the women of Ireland are among the 10 teams competing in the qualification for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup.
ODI matches are scheduled for October 5, 7, 9 and 11 at Harare Sports Club.
Laura Delany (captain), Zara Craig, Georgina Dempsey, Sarah Forbes, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.