Cricket: Hope offered by flaky foes
Do not expect miracles when Ireland's cricketers take on the West Indies and England in the first round of the T20 World Cup, which starts this week in the Caribbean, but it is possible to hope.
The Irish team is better prepared than ever, has some new young faces and is well positioned for the 2011 World Cup in India. Both England and the West Indies will include players fresh from the Indian Premier League, the competition that has made T20 a cricket phenomenon and which turns on its head the notion that cricket is a slow, dull game for sleepy Sunday afternoons.
On the bright side, Ireland's two opponents are known to be flaky: England were humbled by Holland at the last World Cup and the West Indies recently imploded against Zimbabwe. A win would represent a new pinnacle for an Irish team that continues to push the boundaries of achievement and Friday night's demolition of a strong Trinidad team shows how far they have come already.