Ireland struggle in Australia

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Ireland have already suffered two demoralising defeats on their tour of Australia and New Zealand which is not helping their preparations for the World Cup in February and March next year.

Two heavy defeats to Queensland, by 230 runs in their first tour match and then by 151 runs on Thursday, has left Ireland licking their wounds and looking for answers ahead of their next game against NSW 2nd XI/Canberra Comets at the Manuka Oval on Tuesday.

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Irish hindered by injuries

The Irish have not been helped by a series of injuries to key players. Paul Stirling, Tim Murtagh and Andrew White are all absent through injury. Stirling, back injury, and Murtagh, knee, are key players for Ireland and have been sorely missed.

Likewise the absence of skipper William Porterfield, Gary Wilson and Niall O'Brien has left a big hole in their side which is proving hard to fill. All three players were not available to play after playing county cricket all season. However, the Irish will hope to have them back soon.

During both warm-up games so far Ireland have struggled to score runs, having been dismissed for just 92 in their first game and 138 in their second match. The games come thick and fast during October and they will hope to improve otherwise there will be more questions than answers once the tour comes to a close on the 23rd October in New Zealand against Otago.

Ireland prepare for West Indies clash

Ireland begin their World Cup on the 16th February against the West Indies. If at full strength Ireland will hope to begin their campaign with a shock victory.

However, It has not been all bad news for Ireland during the past month. Earlier in September it was announced that Indian-born billionaire Pallonji Mistry had invested a seven-figure sum, believed to be around £2m, in supporting the development of Irish cricket by sponsoring their Academy. Support from the 62nd richest man in the world can only help Ireland's cricket development which has come a long way in recent years.

Ireland strengthen back-room staff

Ireland's coach Phil Simmons has also strengthened his back-room by adding Matthew Mott and Carl Hopkinson to his coaching staff.

Mott, a former Queensland batsmen, will become Phil Simmons' assistant whilst Hopkinson, Sussex's club coach, will become a fielding specialist. Clearly Ireland are bolstering their off-the-field coaching to help them improve in all areas.

Whilst off the pitch Irish cricket looks to have a bright future ultimately they will be assessed by their performances on the field and Ireland will not be pleased by their performances so far down under. Hopefully they can re-group and improve during the remainder of the tour.

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