Published: 22:53 | 13/9/17

Blame players for Bracewell exit, Wilson says


Ireland batsman Gary Wilson says the players are to blame for John Bracewell's exit as the national team's head coach.

Bracewell, 59, will step down in December after a disappointing two-and-a half-years in the post, with Ireland 18th in the world T20 rankings and victors in just 21 of their last 63 completed fixtures since 2015.

But Wilson, who worked with incoming Ireland head coach Graham Ford at Surrey between 2014 and 2016, believes the players failed to match up to the standards demanded by Bracewell.

"John is a very good coach, and I believe the players let him down over the past couple of years to some extent," he told the Times [Ireland].

"In my opinion, he has done nothing wrong.

"We have had a few retirements, the players haven't played as well as they would have liked, and it has not been his fault that we haven't got the results we wanted."

Ireland face the West Indies in the Turkish Airlines One-Day International Challenge match on Wednesday, 13 September, live on eir Sport 1 [10.15am start], and George Dockrell is hoping for a repeat of Ireland's historic World Cup win in Nelson in 2015.

"We know what these West Indies players can bring," the Leinster Lightning off-spinner said. 

"They have explosive power, with both bat and ball, but we know that if we get things right, there is a win there for us.

"It has been windy and cold the last couple of days, and we are expecting something similar on the day. That is something that will definitely suit us."

Andrew Balbirnie, who missed Leinster Lightning's 50-over competition win over the Northern Knights on Sunday through injury, took full part in training this week and the Pembroke batsman is expected to start against the Windies.

“He is fit and trained today," Ireland captain William Porterfield confirmed.

“That is great, especially as he is coming into the game on the back of a double century [against the Netherlands in August's Inter-Continental Cup tie at Malahide].

“He is in confident form, and it would be nice for that to continue."

Tickets for Wednesday's Turkish Airlines One-Day International Challenge match between Ireland and the West Indies on Wednesday, 13 September are available on the door at Stormont. For those who can't make it to Belfast, the match is live on eir Sport 1 [10.15am start]

Photo Getty Images/ Charlie Crowhurst

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