Ireland are all set to play their first ODI since June 2018 when they take on Zimbabwe in the first game of the four-match series on Tuesday (October 5) at the Harare Sports Club. Shauna Kavanagh will be returning to the squad after missing the T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in Spain due to COVID-19 illness. The wicketkeeper-batter is keen to make her mark in the series against the hosts.
Kavanagh, who has represented Ireland in 66 internationals so far, has been part of the Ireland side that toured Zimbabwe in 2018 and she feels that experience will hold them in good stead.
“Zimbabwe is a great place to play cricket and the welcome has been brilliant. A few players in the squad have been here before so know what to expect, but for most, it’s a new experience,” Kavanagh said.
ALSO READ: Laura Delany, Gaby Lewis eager to take massive strides ahead of crucial year for Ireland
“We have been training at Harare Sports Club, which is where we will play all four games, and the facilities are great. We have had access to everything we need to make sure we’re as well prepared as we can be. Conditions have been great, and they look good wickets that we’ll be playing on. It’s warm.”
29-year-old Kavanagh last played international cricket when Ireland played Netherlands in a T20I series at home before having to pull out of the squad for the Europe Qualifier.
“Personally, I have positive memories of playing cricket here in Zimbabwe, and that will certainly give me confidence heading into this series. It was very tough missing out on the T20 World Cup Europe qualifiers in La Manga at the end of August, so I am really excited to be playing cricket again - and hopefully spending lots of time in the middle,” she added.
Ireland finished second behind Scotland in the Europe Qualifier. The 15-member squad led by Laura Delany will be looking to use the Zimbabwe tour to acclimatise and prepare for the Cricket World Cup Qualifier that’s set to be played in the country from November 21.
“Everyone in the squad has recovered from the travel here and are fit and ready to go, which is brilliant as it means we have all 15 players to select from. Every one of us knows that this series is an opportunity to put their hand up and contend for a spot in the World Cup qualifying squad next month,” Kavanagh concluded.
October 5 1st ODI
October 7 2nd ODI
October 9 3rd ODI
October 11 4th ODI
*all matches to be played at the Harare Sports Club