Coronavirus: Ireland coach Ford keen for players to sample T20 World Cup atmosphere

By Sports Desk May 07, 2020

A behind-closed-doors T20 World Cup could rob some players of their only chance to play in front of huge crowds, Ireland head coach Graham Ford has said.

The sprint-format competition is due to begin in mid-October when Ford's Ireland take on Sri Lanka, a team he used to coach, in the first round of a tournament being staged in Australia.

Though cricket across the world is currently suspended due to the spread of coronavirus, the ICC said last month that the aim is for the T20 World Cup to be staged as planned.

However, the presence of fans at those matches remains a different matter as all industries continue to observe social-distancing measures.

Ford admitted he is split on wanting to play cricket as soon as it is safe to do so and the possibility of some of his players featuring in perhaps their only major tournament without fans present.

"A personal preference – I feel for the players – but I would just love to see cricket happening," he told Stats Perform.

"On the other side of it, it's such a fantastic experience for players to play in those sort of tournaments with big crowds. I feel as though those players are being let down.

"If there's a way of structuring it that eventually that tournament takes place with the normal crowds, that's definitely first prize. But if that can't happen, well, let's play cricket.

"I think it's quite sad if you get to one T20 World Cup and it's played behind closed doors; it's quite a downer on everything."

Ford also feels that nations like Ireland, who have to make it past the first round to reach the Super 12s, where Australia, holders West Indies and England will enter, will be the most disadvantaged by disrupted preparations.

Ireland have already seen a tour of Zimbabwe, due to happen in April, and a seven-match series against Bangladesh, scheduled for this month, postponed.

"Going into the year, I felt we could make a huge improvement in our cricket because our programme was really exciting," Ford added.

"All of that cricket would have improved a lot of our young guys and, by the time we got to the World Cup, we would have brought on a lot of those cricketers a great deal.

"Unfortunately, that's not happening, so it makes the challenge that much bigger.

"I suppose on the other side, some of the top teams, some of their gun players haven't played cricket for a while, if it works out that way.

"I think it might be easier for a Steve Smith or somebody to turn his game on than one of our 20-year-old players, so it's a bit of a disadvantage.

"From what I've seen from the Irish character and their commitment to try to make things happen and never-say-die attitude, we'll be up for the challenge."

Related items

  • England seamer Topley to miss final Ireland ODI England seamer Topley to miss final Ireland ODI

    England seamer Reece Topley has been ruled out of Tuesday's final ODI with Ireland because of a left groin strain.

    Topley, who had seen a promising international career derailed by a series of stress fractures in his back, took his first ODI wicket for over four years in England's win on Saturday.

    That four-wicket success clinched the three-match series for the hosts, but Topley will not be available as England look to complete a 3-0 triumph at the Rose Bowl.

    Topley, whose last ODI appearance prior to last weekend's victory came in South Africa in February 2016, enjoyed an impressive return and finished with figures of 1-31.

    He will hope to recover in time to produce similar performances in this month's T20 series with Pakistan, which begins on August 28.

  • Shepherd confident Guyana can end winless curse in 'different' CPL Shepherd confident Guyana can end winless curse in 'different' CPL

    Guyana Amazon Warriors pace bowler Romario Shepherd is quietly confident that this can be the year the team snaps its Caribbean Premier League (CPL) drought, despite the unusual circumstances surrounding the competition.

    Due to issues of safety stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the entire tournament will be staged in Trinidad and Tobago, with enhanced bio security across two venues.  The teams will begin departing for the twin island republic on Monday, ahead of the tournament’s commencement on the August 8th.

    “I am really looking forward to performing and helping us win the tournament this time. It’s long overdue, so this year is our year. Everything is different, so the results will be different this year,” Shepherd told the Guyana Times.

    The player believes the task will be made complex by the fact that the majority of players have not been able to play competitive cricket due to the onset of the pandemic

    ““Being in a pandemic for the first time, I am a bit nervous and tentative going into the tournament. (For) a big tournament like this, you need match practice, and this season will be one of the toughest seasons, not just for me, but for everyone playing in the tournament,” Shepherd said.

    “Just the guys coming back from England would have been active, but for the players in the Caribbean, it would be really tough. (There has been) no match practice, and you have to click from the beginning.”

    Last season Shepherd claimed 13 wickets in an outstanding season for the Warriors who did not lose until the final.  Despite making it to the final five times the Guyana franchise remains without a title.

     

     

  • 'He needed to rough batsmen up' - Windies legend Ambrose disappointed with Joseph 'He needed to rough batsmen up' - Windies legend Ambrose disappointed with Joseph

    West Indies legend Sir Curtly Ambrose has admitted to some level of disappointment with the performance of young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph in the recently concluded series loss to England.

    The 23-year-old was tipped for a breakthrough performance ahead of the England series, but that promised failed to materialise.  Joseph had several bright spells of bowling when the teams met in the Caribbean last year, but in the rematch on English soil, these were few and far between.

    Joseph claimed figures of 2 for 98 in the first Test, before getting 1 for 84 in the second Test.  He was replaced in the final Test by off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.

    Ambrose, himself once one of the world’s premier fast bowlers, believes the young West Indian may have been guilty of being too passive.

    “I was a little bit disappointed with the performance of Alzarri Joseph.  The pitches they played on, obviously, they were not the quickest, but as a fast bowler, you can’t be telling yourself that boy, it’s a slow pitch so I am just going to amble in and put it on a spot, no.  Whether a pitch is fast or slow, you as a fast bowler have to put out your best, and Alzarri, to me, he was bowling within himself and not looking to bowl fast,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

    “Alzarri Joseph is not a put-on-a-spot, hold-up-one-end type of bowler.  Jason Holder, the captain, can do that.  He can’t really bowl fast, but he can come at one end and put it on a spot and swing it around, seam it around and get a couple of wickets, but Alzarri is a guy who has to run in and bowl fast, look to rough up batsmen.  He will look to get wickets obviously, but rough batsmen up and let them know that ‘I am here’.”

     

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.