Irish captain Balbirnie and others aim to play Indian T20 League
Playing Indian T20 League is a huge ambition for a lot of us: Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie
Being a part of a developing country in terms of playing cricket, it is expected that the Irish boys would love to be a part of the Indian T20 League. The series against the Lankans changed careers of a lot of Sri Lankan Internationals like that of Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and so many others. Thus, with a series against India coming soon, the Irish boys will look forward to do well and get some attention from various franchises in the cash-rich league.
Speaking to The Times of India, Captain Andrew Balbirnie expressed how many of his players aim to play in the tournament. “We have a number of players who are good at the T20 format. We are all aware how competitive it is to get into the Indian T20 League. That’s a huge ambition for a lot of us. That’s the pinnacle of T20 cricket. You see how quickly certain players develop when they get access to the league. We have a number of players who play in different leagues but not the Indian T20 League. When they come back to the Irish team, they bring a lot of experience and learning”.
The captain also went on to speak about why the series against this Indian team is an important one for all the players in both the teams. “It’s a huge occasion for us. They have such a number of experienced players in the T20 format. They have a squad in England for the Test match and then there’s a squad that’s coming down to Ireland to play us in T20s. They are all looking to impress. There are a lot of players in this Indian T20 side who are looking for a spot in the full-strength team. So, they will be under pressure also. We play NZ in a few weeks. With the T20 World Series coming in October, there are a lot of players who want to stake a claim for that. So there’s opportunity for players on both sides”.
Speaking about the Test match scenario in the country, the captain expressed his disappointment as they don’t get enough opportunity to play Test cricket. “I have been fortunate to play three Tests for Ireland. We have got into positions where we had chances to win all of them but we didn't take those chances. I am 31 now and there's no scheduled Test match in the future. It's so disappointing. All the players are desperate to play Test cricket but we don't want to play one-off here and there. We want to play at least 5-6 Tests a year so that players get to learn and build their games”, he said.
“It's an encouragement. The best moments in Irish cricket have come at the 50-over World Championships. We have contracted players now because of what the Irish team did in 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Championships. It's an opportunity to showcase the game in the country and what we can do on that stage. The coming years will help countries below Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland who have put in a lot of effort without much funding”, said the 31-year-old Irish Captain when asked to make a comment on the decision of the International Cricket Board to increase the number of participants from the next cycle.
This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly at your own risk.
This game is applicable for people 18+ only.