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Kevin O'Brien has high hopes for T20 World Cup

Updated: Monday, 03 Mar 2014 14:18 | Comments

Kevin O'Brien hoping to get into swing of things at Dubai training camp
Kevin O'Brien hoping to get into swing of things at Dubai training camp

Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien has backed the team to make a major impression at the ICC T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this month.

O’Brien was speaking as the squad left Dublin yesterday for a pre-tournament training camp in Dubai.

For O'Brien, and the two other veterans of the 2007 World Cup - his brother Niall and William Porterfield - there is a sense of déjà vu, because their opening group match in Bangladesh will be against Zimbabwe on St Patrick's Day. 

Ireland famously tied with the African side in their opening game of 2007, before scoring an incredible win over Pakistan two days later on 17 March.

"Paddy's Day has been kind to us in the past and I hope it's a good omen for when we play Zimbabwe in the first match – that's a massive game for both teams," O'Brien said, without ignoring the threat posed by the UAE and the Netherlands in Ireland's other Round One games.

"We have serious ambitions to go all the way in the tournament, and we plan to get off the plane in Dhaka and hit the ground running when the competition gets under way."

O'Brien believes the lessons learned on the recent tour of the Caribbean - where Ireland played three matches in Trinidad and three in Jamaica, including a T20 victory over the West Indies - will serve them well in the coming campaign.

"We have serious ambitions to go all the way in the tournament" - Kevin O'Brien

"We take confidence from having beaten the world champions on their own patch, and I suppose that puts added pressure on us to qualify from Round One," the Railway Union player added.

"Six games of high quality cricket in the West Indies were great preparation for this trip. If we're being harsh on ourselves we probably left a few results out on the pitch there, especially at Sabina Park when we couldn't chase 97 to clinch the T20 series.

"We know Zimbabwe are a good team with some very dangerous players in the format. I think we can go all the way but a lot will depend on how we bowl on the slower, lower pitches in Bangladesh. 

"The bowling unit showed last month on similar pitches in the Caribbean that they can bowl sides out and restrict quality sides to low totals. If we can be clinical with the bat and back ourselves, then we can beat anyone on our day."

Ireland T20 World Cup squad: William Porterfield (captain), (Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset),  Ed Joyce (Sussex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire),  Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Max Sorensen (The Hills), James Shannon (Instonians), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).

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