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Simmons: 'I can imagine playing a game in Sydney with the Irish support... jeez!'

Coach Phil Simmons says the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will effectively be a home tournament for Ireland.

Simmons: Ireland's coach laughs in the face of fear.
Simmons: Ireland's coach laughs in the face of fear.
Image: Barry Chambers/INPHO

COACH PHIL SIMMONS has predicted an Irish invasion at the Cricket World Cup next year.

Fans are expected to flock to Australia and New Zealand and join the growing ex-pat community when the tournament begins in February.

Simmons expects the Blarney Army to effectively turn the World Cup into a home tournament for the Boys in Green.

“I was in Jamaica and the Irish support there was unbelievable,” Simmons told this week’s episode of The Slog Sweep.

“India was a little bit harder for us to get to but I can imagine playing a game in Sydney with the Irish support… jeez!

Sometimes I just picture it — 20,000 and 19,000 of them are Irish.

“We’re just looking forward to that support and we know it’s going to be big in both countries.”

Ireland open their campaign against the West Indies on 16 February in Nelson.

They have been drawn in Pool B where they will also face world champions India, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates with the top four teams progressing to the quarter-finals.

It is a daunting prospect on paper but Simmons says they will fear no opponent. If anything, it’s the other way around.

“Every match you play, the goal is to win that match and to find a way to win that match as a team. That’s how I look at it and that’s how we plan to look at each game.

There’s no fear. That’s where we’re at now. They’re thinking about us more than we’re thinking about them now. That’s the way we’ve turned it around in the last five or six years.

“It’s good because teams don’t take us for granted any more which is what you want.”


Click here to listen to the full interview with Phil Simmons on The Slog Sweep.

This week’s episode also features interviews Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien live from the Caribbean Premier League, Leinster and Ireland’s Laura Delany, Clontarf captain Eoghan Delany and David Griffin, treasurer of Cork County Cricket Club, in Club Corner.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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