Cricket World Cup 2015

Birrell answers Proteas' call

2015-03-02 05:00
Adrian Birrell (Gallo Images)

Canberra - Proteas assistant coach, Adrian Birrell, will play an integral role as the team prepares for their ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match against Ireland at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday.

Birrell coached Ireland from 2002 to 2007, and will be a key source of information having worked with most of their current crop of players at national and junior level.

Birrell said he was not surprised by Ireland’s current development and progress at international cricket, particularly their knack of “upsetting” the bigger cricketing nations at world events.

"They have a strong culture and play an attractive brand of cricket," Birrell said in a statement.

"They have a number of good players and since probably 2005 a lot of their players are county players playing cricket fulltime, they are playing professionally.

"In every World Cup they seem to beat a full-member team."

The Proteas’ last outing against Ireland at the 2011 World Cup resulted in a comfortable 131-run win, but Birrell admitted they will be a stronger force with both bat and ball.

"They bat long and deep. They know how to chase targets; four out of the top 10 World Cup chases are Ireland chases, three of them over 300 and two against full members.

"We are fully aware of what they can do, I am probably more aware than most. We will be prepared come Tuesday."

Vernon Philander and JP Duminy continued to receive physiotherapy rehab and treatment, and would continue to be assessed daily before a commitment is made on their availability for the match.

Read more on:    proteas  |  cwc 2015  |  cricket

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