Ireland know that with four teams to progress through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup from the seven nations that make up Pool “B”, they know that a place in the last eight is an achievable target. They will almost certainly need to win a minimum of three matches out of six to secure the place that the Test Match wannabes covet so much.
The men in green, could hardly have asked for a better start to their campaign, with a game against the West Indies in Nelson on Monday to get their 2015 World Cup challenge under way, before they face the UAE in Brisbane on February 25th.
The West Indies, as has so often been the case over the course of cricketing history in the Caribbean, seem to have pressed the self-destruct button, in terms of preparation and selection.
First off, the West Indies were forced to call off their tour to India in October, as the result of ongoing contract dispute about pay with the WICB, and then when the squad to contest the World Cup was announced, both Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were missing from the 15-man party.
The Irish picked up a confidence boosting win against Bangladesh in their final warm up game, having previously lost to Randwick, a club side from Sydney and Scotland. They also have the confidence of winning the last encounter between the two sides, a T20 international last February in Jamaica.
Since the aborted trip to India, the West Indies have played an ODI series in South Africa, where they found themselves comprehensively been by 4-1, and were outplayed in just about every facet of the game, in each fixture.
Their preparations since arriving in Australia have not given cause to look forward to the Irish game with any degree of expectation. A nine wicket thrashing by England, was followed by a narrow three run victory against Scotland, who actually threw away a winning position as they lost a cluster of wickets when the match appeared over.