Ireland’s long-serving captain Laura Delany is eager to add to her national record cap count as she leads her side against Scotland in an upcoming women’s cricket series in Spain. You can bet on this game by Pin Up bet Uzbekistan.
The 30-year-old Dublin native became Ireland’s most-capped player back in August when she earned her 185th cap, surpassing retired stars Mary Waldron and Shauna Kavanagh. But despite her veteran status, Delany feels re-energized by the influx of young talent into the Irish squad. This includes 19-year-old wicketkeeper Joanna Loughran, who is receiving her first call-up for the matches versus Scotland.
«I feel like I’ve got a new wave of energy with all the young players in the squad», – Delany remarked.
«I’m not going to be playing cricket forever so I want to enjoy every opportunity that I have to go out there and wear the green jersey, but also lead the team, which is a huge honor».
The two sides will face off in one-day internationals on October 17th, 19th, and 21st at the Desert Springs Cricket Ground in Almeria, Spain. They will also contest T20 matches on October 23rd and 24th to round out the series. Ireland is very familiar with the Desert Springs facility having held a training camp there in January as part of their preparations for the T20 World Cup.
Delany expressed full confidence in her squad’s readiness coming into the matches, though she noted this will be Scotland’s first-ever appearance in the ODI format. “As a squad we’re ready and looking forward to it,” the skipper affirmed.
Work on mistakes
Reflecting on the year so far, Delany described 2023 as «a year of mixed results» for the Irish side. The World Cup in South Africa provided valuable experience against elite teams, but ultimately no wins against the likes of Pakistan, India, England and the West Indies.
Ireland then embarked on a challenging Caribbean tour in June and July. The team suffered 2-0 ODI series defeats to the West Indies, followed by a heartbreaking 2-wicket loss in the opening T20 match. This initial T20 defeat came right down to the final delivery, highlighting how close Ireland was to securing a historic result. However, the home side proved too strong in the end, completing a 3-0 sweep.
Returning home in late July, Ireland came up against a dominant Australia side fresh off winning the World Cup. The visitors unsurprisingly overpowered the Irish in a 2-0 ODI series victory. But Ireland quickly bounced back the following month, earning 2-0 and 3-0 series wins over the Netherlands in ODI and T20 contests.
While disappointed to have narrowly missed out on elusive victories over higher-ranked opponents, Delany focused on the positives from Ireland’s efforts this year. Going toe-to-toe with world-class teams like Australia and the West Indies provided invaluable experience. The Irish captain also noted impressive performances from young squad members now getting opportunities to shine.
Above all, Delany remains committed to continuous improvement as her side builds towards a bright future. She aims to leverage her record-setting experience to guide the influx of emerging stars that have her feeling reinvigorated and optimistic about what’s ahead.
The latest step
The upcoming games against Scotland represent the latest step in Ireland’s development journey. Delany will look to lead by example and help her team implement lessons learned earlier in 2023. The mix of wise veterans like herself and energetic youth reflected in call-ups like Loughran’s illustrates the blend Ireland seeks going forward.
If the team can produce some strong performances against Scotland, it would provide a real confidence boost heading into the new year. Ireland is still searching for that breakthrough win over one of the world’s elite sides, so closing out 2023 with a series victory could set the stage for bigger things to come.
Above all else, Delany just wants to keep representing her country and passing on wisdom to the next wave. Breaking appearance records is merely a nice bonus for the proud Dublin native. She maintains the same passion that sparked her cricket journey many years ago through youth and college play before reaching the highest level.
That sustained passion will fuel Delany as she dons the green jersey once more. Ireland is sure to benefit from the leadership and experience of its steady captain as it writes the next chapter in the story of its women’s cricket program.
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