Ed Joyce. © Getty Images

Ed Joyce, head coach of Ireland Women’s cricket team, on Tuesday (May 12), expressed his views regarding International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to postpone the Women’s World Cup Qualifier due to coronavirus pandemic. The tournament was scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka between July 3 to July 19.

Before the Qualifiers, Ireland’s tour to Thailand had also been cancelled in the month of April. Joyce believes the decision by ICC is right, but he is also hopeful of announcement of new dates so that Ireland gets enough time to prepare for Qualifiers when the situation is ideal.

“Naturally we are disappointed to see this important qualifying tournament postponed, but it is an understandable situation given the circumstances.” Ed Joyce said.

“The chance to qualify for a World Cup is always a big moment in a player’s career, and I know – before lockdown – the performance squad were well positioned, some in Ireland and others playing club cricket during the Irish winter in Australia.”

Joyce also stated that the team was looking forward to to the lead-in programme before the Qualifiers but the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold. During the lockdown, Joyce and his troops had various fitness sessions and numerous team meetings online which were useful for the team to remain fit and healthy. They also had a masterclass in which they used a Meg Lanning knock and an Isobel Joyce knock as case studies.

“We had a lead-in programme in place for the Qualifier before the pandemic hit, but – like everyone else – we’ve had to adapt quickly to lockdown conditions,” he said.

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“We have continued fitness programmes and held numerous team learning sessions via video-conferencing over the last two months, but despite the opportunities that these sessions offer, there is no substitute to getting out and playing, so we’re all eager to get out and play when conditions permit.”

“The fixture schedule ahead is certainly going to be a busy one for all cricket nations given the postponements, and we’ll need to develop a preparation programme in the lead up to the tournament, so we hope the ICC can give ample notification of the new dates.”

Joyce concluded by adding that the squad is optimistic of putting in a good show whenever an opportunity presents itself and believed his squad is dedicated to get on the park.

“It is a challenging time for everyone, but we have a resilient young squad and I know they’ll be dedicated to the task once we’re back underway.”