Ireland Women's Delight at World T20 2016 Qualification

12/16/2015 Jhon 0 Comments

Ireland's women's cricket team is celebrating its recent qualification for the upcoming ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament, which is to be held in India in 2016. After beating Scotland in the semi-finals to qualify, the Irish won a thrilling contest in the final against the formidable Bangladesh.

Women's cricket is one of the world's fastest-growing sports, with many a cricket shop reporting dramatically increased sales of women's cricket attire and equipment and the media reporting large attendances at international and domestic fixtures. The Twenty20 format is proving at least as popular as the traditional test cricket, and excitement is building for the ICC Women's World Twenty20 hosted in India next year.

ICC Women's World Twenty20 Tournament

The International Cricket Council (ICC) inaugural World Women's Twenty20 Tournament was hosted and won by England Women in 2009. Until 2014, six teams were determined by the top six teams of the ICC Women's Twenty20 international rankings and another two teams qualified for the finals at a qualification tournament. To reflect the success of the early tournaments and to make the sport more inclusive, the formula for qualification was adjusted for the 2014 event, with seven places being determined by the ICC top eight rankings, one place guaranteed for the host country and three others through a qualifying tournament. Ireland Women secured their place in India and took first place at this year's qualification tournament in Thailand.

Ireland Women's Qualification Story

Ireland finished the 2014 Twenty20 World Women's Cup among the lowest places, but the team's progress in Thailand was nothing short of spectacular. In Group B, they racked up the following unbeaten record:

Netherlands v Ireland - Ireland won by 8 wickets
China v Ireland - Ireland won by 28 runs
Zimbabwe v Ireland - Ireland won by 7 wickets
Semi Final Scotland v Ireland - Ireland won by 9 wickets
Final - Bangladesh v Ireland - Ireland won by 2 wickets

Reaction to Ireland Women's Qualification

Topping off another excellent year of sport for the Republic of Ireland, the women's success has been met with enthusiasm and praise back home. Qualifying from a tough and competitive group was, on its own, an astonishing achievement, but the style, flair and sportsmanship with which the Irish played won them many new fans across the sporting world. The performance against the mighty Bangladesh was especially praiseworthy, with Ireland successfully containing Player of the Tournament and lead wicket taker, Rumana Ahmed. There were some wonderful individual performances, and Cecelia Joyce cemented her position of leading the tournament in runs: no doubt fans will be flocking to the local cricket shop to buy a replica of her shirt. Talking about her team's historic performance, Ireland Captain Isobel Joyce said that it was an amazing feeling and she was very proud of the team for playing so well in very tough conditions. There are certainly exciting times ahead for Ireland Women in Twenty20 cricket.