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Irish coach delighted with team

Ireland's West Indian coach Phil Simmons is delighted with what his players have achieved in this World Cup and said they now take on the big teams aiming to win, not just compete.

cricket Updated: Mar 17, 2011 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent

Ireland's West Indian coach Phil Simmons is delighted with what his players have achieved in this World Cup and said they now take on the big teams aiming to win, not just compete.

"I inherited a very good team from Adrian Birrell (Ireland's former South Africa coach) that looked to compete against the big teams," said Simmons.

"I think the biggest improvement is that we no longer come to play against Australia, England or India hoping to compete. We come up against them planning how to win the game."

Ireland have done just that in this tournament, chasing down a big target to beat England and running India close while defending a modest total.

They have bowled with discipline right through the tournament and fielded brilliantly. It is just that their batting has not been consistent enough.

Simmons believes the team will improve further if they get to play against the Test-playing nations more often in the shorter formats.

"We have been telling the International Cricket Council (ICC) that we need more games. We are nowhere near Tests but we sure can play One-day Internationals and Twenty20 matches."

"We need more than four-five matches, or the three we play this year," added the former West Indies batsman.