Belfast set to host ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier
The Stormont cricket ground in Belfast is set to host what promises to be four days of fantastic cricket when the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers come to the city from August 2-5.
Ireland will be competing with five fellow Associates in the four day tournament which will see 3 teams going through to the T20 World Cup which is being held in England in 2009.
As well as the $250 000 prize money on offer for each of the teams who go through, there is the added incentive that the winners will face England at Lord’s in the opening fixture in front of a capacity 28 000 sell out crowd.
Ireland have been drawn in the same group as old rivals Scotland whom they play on the opening day, Saturday August 2. The next day sees them take on outsiders Bermuda, with the semi finals due to take place on Monday August 4, and the final itself is scheduled for the Tuesday.
Ireland’s most capped player Kyle McCallan is looking forward to the games, “I know how excited all the players are about the World Cup Qualifiers at Stormont. This form of the game has caught the imagination of the cricketing world, and it is a great opportunity for Irish supporters to come along and witness what is sure to be a great festival of cricket.”
“There’s so much as stake for the competing countries, which will only add to the occasion. With Twenty20 there’s something happening every ball, and it has helped to dispel the traditional stigma attached to cricket, that it can be boring. Nothing could be further from the truth with this format, where boundaries, wickets and non-stop action are virtually guaranteed.”
“It should be a great family day out, and the players are looking forward to the supporters recreating the atmosphere experienced during the World Cup, and also at the England One Day International in 2006.”
Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Eamonn McCartan added: “Qualification for another world cricket tournament brings back vivid memories of Ireland’s exploits at last year’s ICC World Cup in the West Indies and I urge the Northern Ireland public to lend their full support to what promises to be an exhilarating few days. The staging of big games in Northern Ireland - not least the ICC Trophy in 2005 - has deservedly earned local officials a reputation for excellent organisation and I have no doubt this exciting Twenty20 tournament will be no exception. Qualification for next year’s Championship in England means there is much at stake for all of the six countries - may their performances meet their expectations and, above all, may the games be played in the true Spirit of Cricket.”
There are 11 games in total, with play getting under way each day at 9:30am. A tournament ticket for the 4 days is priced at £25, while tickets can also be bought each day priced at £10 for adults, while kids under 16 get in free, provided they are accompanied by an adult.
It promises to be great entertainment for all the family, with music, games and competitions at the ground.
The schedule and ticket details are as follows:
DAY 1: SATURDAY AUGUST 2:
9.30am Group B Kenya v Netherlands
1.00pm Group A Ireland v Scotland
4.30pm Group B Netherlands v Canada
DAY 2: SUNDAY AUGUST 3:
9.30am Group A Scotland v Bermuda
1.00pm Group B Kenya v Canada
4.30pm Group A Ireland v Bermuda
DAY 3: MONDAY AUGUST 4:
9.30am Semi Final 1 Group A 1st v Group B 2nd
1.00pm Semi Final 2 Group B 1st v Group A 2nd
4.30pm 3rd v 4th Play-off: S-F 1 Loser v S-F 2 Loser
DAY 4 - TUESDAY AUGUST 5:
9.30am 5th v 6th Play-off: Group A 3rd v Group B 3rd
THREE FIRST THREE TEAMS WILL QUALIFY FOR ICC WORLD TWENTY20 2009 IN ENGLAND :
Tickets can be purchased from TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.ie