Hamilton: One of the most friendly and charming sides in the World Cup line up of eight, Ireland landed on Friday morning at Hamilton to participate in their fourth World Cup. The team will proceed to Westpac Trust Park where they will play two warm-up matches before proceeding to Christchurch for the opening ceremony.Ireland intend to improve on their past performances at the World Cup (1988, 93 and 97) where they have so far not managed to win more than two matches. Their first aim is to qualify among the top six so that they gain an automatic qualification for next year's World Cup. However they do not rule out the possibility of a higher placing but are cautious enough to state that they would like to enter the fray as an underdog.Ireland boast of three players in Catriona Beggs, Clara Metcalfe and Clare Shillington who play club cricket in Auckland. Ireland team manager Medcalf felt that Ireland were stronger than in past. They reached the final of the European Cup last year, losing to an England 'A' side in a nerve-wracking, last-over finish. This year Ireland defeated the touring Pakistan side in a Test (the first four-day Test played by Ireland) and in three One-day Internationals.
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