Australia-born, Ireland leg-spinner, Celeste Raack, is backing her side to go through some of the top nations in the International Cricket Council’s Women’s World T20 tournament in the Caribbean.
Speaking to the Guyana media at the Providence National Stadium during Ireland’s first session since arriving two days ago, Raack said that she believes the side has a mixture of players who form a strong squad and can manage any of the top teams.
“We’ve got a very strong group and we believe that we can really take it to the best sides in the world,” Raack said.
The 24-year-old said that it is good that they will play against one of the favourites, Australia, first up since it will provide them with a way of seeing where they are.
With the conditions in Guyana conducive to slow bowling, Raack is excited to have a go.
“We have been watching a lot of the CPL [Caribbean Premier League], all of our girls back in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand as well and we’ve seen the wickets are nice and slow and great for spinners so it’s very exciting times for a leg-spinner this time in T20 cricket with conditions like here in Guyana,” She said.
According to the leg spinner, “We’ve been training very hard in the last few months to the buildup of this tournament. We’ve got a new facility back home in Ireland which is fantastic. We’ve got a very strong squad that we are bringing to the World Cup this year and we have been training very hard so its exciting times for us as a squad.”
Raack, who played most of her cricket in Australia, indicated that the team will be looking forward to the warm-up matches as opportunities to put into action what they have been training for not only as a collective team but individual skill sets as well.
“The level of preparation has been really strong this year, we’ve got a new facility back in Ireland…we’ve had a lot of gym sessions, we’ve had a really good psychologist input and nutritionist at work.”
The Irish side was recently in Spain where they trained on turf pitches and difficult conditions as a form of preparation.
The young talent believes that the side is “in a really good position as can possibly be at this stage and are looking forward to more sessions and practice.”
Looking at the squad, she opined that there are lots of players in the back end of their careers and are playing their best games while there are some exciting talent in the side as well as some who have been there for a few years.
With some members being new to the Caribbean, Raack stated that the players are excited to witness and be a part of the culture for the first time.
Ireland will play their first warm up match against Bangladesh on Sunday while their first official game will be on November 11 against Australia.