Ireland head coach Heinrich Malan admits T20 World Cup fixtures against India and Pakistan is 'tantalising prospect'

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​Ireland head coach Heinrich Malan admits being drawn in a T20 Cricket World Cup group alongside international powerhouses India and Pakistan is a “tantalising prospect”.

​The tournament, which will be co-hosted by the West Indies and USA next summer, sees Ireland starting their campaign in New York against India on June 5 before a further fixture versus Canada (June 7) in ‘the Big Apple’.

They’ll then make the trip to Florida where matches against hosts USA (June 14) and Pakistan (June 16) await with the top two teams from each of the four groups advancing to the second round group stage.

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The top two teams from that stage will then progress to the semi-finals, with the final to be played in Barbados on June 29.

Ireland will travel to the USA for next summer's T20 World Cup. PIC: Zimbabwe CricketIreland will travel to the USA for next summer's T20 World Cup. PIC: Zimbabwe Cricket
Ireland will travel to the USA for next summer's T20 World Cup. PIC: Zimbabwe Cricket

Malan has called on the large Irish presence Stateside to get behind his team as they look to pull off a couple of upsets.

“It’s always an exciting time for players and fans alike when a World Cup draw is revealed and the planning begins in earnest,” he said. “To be drawn in a group that includes India and Pakistan is a tantalising prospect and should attract big crowds, while also to face one of the co-hosts on their home soil adds some spice, and Canada have a proven pedigree in this format so will be a challenging encounter as well.

“It may be a cliché to say that no match at a World Cup is easy, but the group we have been drawn in absolutely exemplifies that saying.

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"One secret weapon we may have up our sleeve, however, is an enormous Irish ex-pat population in the US, and we absolutely call on the members of the Irish diaspora in the US to put on their green and come out to support our lads.

“As we demonstrated on the recently concluded tour of Zimbabwe, we are building an exciting, resilient and fearless brand of cricket in the shortest format and we hope to evolve this further over the coming months.

“For now, however, we begin our specific planning for our opponents that are now known.

"We have plenty of cricket to look forward to in the lead up to the tournament – starting with a highly anticipated multi-format series against Afghanistan in March.

"Personally, I can’t wait for 2024 to start and to see where we can take this talented group of players.”