Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Joyce's Joy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Joyce's Joy

Article excerpt

Ireland clash delights Dubliner

Dubliner Ed Joyce is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against his native Ireland in tomorrow's must-win World Cup Super Eight clash in Guyana.

England open their Super Eight account against shock qualifiers Ireland followed by games against Sri Lanka and Australia in the space of four days in Antigua.

It is an easier start to the next stage than anticipated as the party no doubt expected to face both India and Pakistan.

The stunning success of Ireland and Bangladesh in qualifying has turned the tournament on its head. Joyce has particular reason to hail Ireland's achievement having played for them until his qualification for England came through, but he believes their success should be applauded rather than criticised.

"We didn't expect this," admitted Joyce. "We expected Pakistan and India to be in the Super Eights, but personally I think it's great for the tournament that there are a couple of teams that weren't expected to be there.

"I don't agree with people that are suggesting it's bad for the game and I can't see why they would say that. Who wants to see the same teams playing each other all the time?"

England are confident all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will be fit to play against Ireland after suffering a stomach upset this week, which restricted his contribution in practice.

Flintoff was forced back to the hotel in the middle of the session on Monday.

Joyce has, meanwhile, defended England's back-to-basics tactics for the World Cup and believes it will bring the best out of their big hitters during the tournament.

While other teams like New Zealand and Sri Lanka have taken the tournament by storm by adopting an aggressive policy during the early power-play overs, England have done the opposite.

Instead of attempting to make the most of those fielding restrictions at the top of the order and employing big hitters to exploit that, England are taking a more old fashioned approach. …

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