Netherlands vs Ireland T20

New Ireland Twenty20 captain Gary Wilson has called on his squad to play with freedom in this week’s Tri-Series tournament in the Netherlands.

The Irish squad flew to Holland on Monday for their first competitive T20 international fixtures under Wilson’s captaincy.

The tournament will see Ireland, Scotland and the hosts play each other twice between June 12-20.

“We need to get ourselves back up that rankings table,” said Wilson.

“The key message I will be getting across to the team over the coming days is to back your ability and play with freedom.

“It’s time for the team to play some good cricket and get ourselves, in this format of the game, back on the straight and narrow.

“To be honest, we’ve probably slipped away a bit over the last few years, so we need to put in some good performances.

“My view is that with Twenty20 cricket you encourage players to play with a lot of freedom.

“The way to do that is to be nice and relaxed about the way we go into our cricket and, as captain, let guys really express themselves.

“This is a really enjoyable format and – with either bat or the ball in hand – the guys should view this as a great opportunity to showcase their skills.”

Batsman Wilson, whose appointment as Ireland captain was announced earlier in June, believes his side will face difficult opposition in the Tri-Series.

“Both Scotland and Netherlands have named pretty strong squads,” he added.

“It’s a format that they’ve done well in recently, so we’re expecting tough games.

“However, if we play to our skill level – really play to the level we know we can – then I’m confident it will go well for us.”

Ireland Head Coach Graham Ford believes now is the time to experiment both game plans and playing roles as part of preparation for the World T20 Qualifier tournament in 2019.

“I see this as the start of a journey to the World T20 Qualifiers, which is a hugely important tournament for us,” he commented.

“We’ve got a few games between now and then to find our best combinations and do a bit of experimenting to find which players suit which roles best.

“We will be using this Tri-Series to strategise around our strengths and develop a game plan that will enable us to perform well in the Qualifier tournament in 2019.”

Ireland squad for the Tri-Series in the Netherlands: Gary Wilson (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.

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