Porterfield counting on Ireland's youngsters

Ireland

Ireland captain William Porterfield is not putting much stock in their disastrous World Twenty20 campaign, rather looking to make sure his young players are ready for the World Cup in the Antipodes next year.

Ireland captain William Porterfield is not putting much stock in their disastrous World Twenty20 campaign, rather looking to make sure his young players are ready for the World Cup in the Antipodes next year.

Ireland lost to the Netherlands in the WT20 qualifiers in thrilling circumstances, after essentially being through to the next round, and instead missed out on the tournament proper. But Porterfield thinks the experience was valuable for Andy McBrine, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young.

Ireland will play two ODIs against Sri Lanka in Dublin in May, which will give the youngsters more time to get used to facing big opposition before the ICC event in Australia and New Zealand.

He said in the Londonderry Sentinel: "It's less than 12 months away to the start of the World Cup, so it's a big year like any World Cup year, there's a lot of preparation and competition for places, but it's going to be an exciting time.

"All the young lads who were in the squad did very well, you look at Andy McBrine, Craig Young and Stuart Thompson, obviously Andy and Stuart played in the games as well, with Andy playing in two of them I think it was a good experience for them.

"What they have gained over that eight week period, starting off in the West Indies, will be a great experience for them.

"Andy came into the side when we were in the West Indies and the way he bowled against quality oppositions was super. In his first game he bowled pretty much seven of his ten overs to (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul, so it showed his maturity and what he's got at that young age.

"He showed that he could keep his nerve, bowl in power plays and bowl at crucial stages of games, he showed that throughout not only at the World Cup but also in the warm-up games he opened against Bangladesh and as I said he did very well in the West Indies, so that obviously bodes well for the future.

"Stuart Thompson has also come in and taken his chance as well, yes he didn't get to bowl many overs but what he showed with the bat is that there's great times for ourselves moving forward."

The bowling attack was a big weakness during the WT20, with Ireland losing veteran Trent Johnson to retirement and paceman Boyd Rankin to England, but the skipper was upbeat about the future of the attack.

He added: "Losing Trent and Boyd in the same year was obviously a big blow for us, but it just shows that we have moved on and haven't really looked back.

"Yes they have been fantastic players for us, but as soon as they left the squad that was kind of it.

"Tim Murtagh has come in and he has done very well for us, you also have Stuart Thompson and Max Sorensen who did well and Craig Young has shown a lot of potential when he was away with us.

"The coaching staff was impressed with what he had to offer, so hopefully he can keep learning and keep moving forward throughout the season as he has the potential to be a big player for us over the next 12 months."

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