PAUL STIRLING has been predictably upbeat about Ireland’s chances of making the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup despite losing their first two Group A matches to India and Canada in New York.

Two wins and we can still go through, has been the message from the captain and the Ireland camp, and this remained true after yesterday’s mega clash between favourites India and Pakistan, won by the former by six runs.

But - and it’s a big but - the Boys in Green can only qualify by dint of a better nett run rate and will have to beat both the USA and Pakistan by decent margins to rectify their current NRR which is the worst in the group.

One thing in Ireland’s favour is that their final two games are in the familiar surroundings of Lauderhill in Florida where they shared a T20 series with the USA at the end of 2021.

Another is that the other four teams in the group all play again before Ireland meet the USA on Friday, so the requirement will be a lot clearer. It’s still a very long shot, though.

Meanwhile, Ireland super fan Larry Leprechaun, aka Adrian Raftery, has written to the ICC demanding to know why the match against Canada on Friday was shown as Sold Out when he applied for tickets in February.

On the day, the Nassau County International Stadium was a quarter full at best while Larry was told no tickets were available due to ‘phenomenal demand’ so he stayed home in Melbourne to watch on TV as his side lost by 12 runs.

While Larry and others have darkly suggested a conspiracy by the International Cricket Council to drive sales for their more expensive corporate packages, the more likely explanation is poor organisation, a not unknown occurrence at ICC events. 

“I’m worth at least 12 runs to the boys,” Larry fumed. “If I’d been there in New York that game would have gone to a Super Over at the very least!”