Ireland skipper Porterfield calls for annual Desert T20

Barnaby Read 22:45 20/01/2017
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As the inaugural Desert T20 came to a close in Dubai on Friday night, there was a shared rallying cry among the nations involved; We want more.

Matches for the Associate Nations are hard to come by, let alone tournaments such as this, with reduced World Cups and 18-24 month World Cricket League Championship and Intercontinental Cup cycles meaning a drought of fixtures.

The Desert T20 has set out to change all that and after such a successful first outing, the Associates are already calling for it to first remain and then expand.

UAE captain Amjad Javed was the first to call for a 50-over equivalent to the Desert T20, saying earlier in the week that these much needed added fixtures provide extra motivation for UAE and each of the Associate Nations involved.

“This sort of a tournament really motivates the Associate teams,” said Javed. “If this type of tournament isn’t there then we’re playing only qualifiers which come after two years or three years.

“I think that’s really not good for Associates. We hardly meet and play each other so I think they should think about introducing a 50-over tournament for Associates also. I think that would really help us for our WCLC games and for all the Associates.”

As Javed stressed this point you could feel a nod of heads in unison among the Associates and as each country’s competition came to an end, the respective captains and coaches offered the same response.

More competition is what they crave, a sentiment echoed by Ireland captain Will Porterfield in a ringing endorsement for the Desert T20 after his side were beaten by Afghanistan in the final.

“I think it’s a really good competition, I think all the teams that have been here want to play more cricket and it’s a great opportunity for us to do that,” said Porterfield.

“If there’s more teams, you can grow it and get a few more teams down and play a few more games as well.

“If they can make it an annual thing, or at least every two years, I think it would be great for Associates playing in it and it’s great for ourselves to be playing that cricket.”

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