Dubai, Feb 1: The four ICC associate nations, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Canada, have arrived in Dubai to sharpen their skills ahead of the World Cup at the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy here.
Bubbling with enthusiasm and determination, they began their hard work yesterday at the Gatorade High Performance Camp.
Ireland, who had stunned Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup to reach the super eight, is hoping to do even better, Gulf News reports.
"We might go even better and further than in 2007. It is difficult to compare two World Cups because in the last World Cup we were very much an unknown team. It is going to be a different challenge but I don't see why we cannot improve and go in further than from where we were," said Ireland captain William Porterfield.
Ireland has two hosts India and Bangladesh in their group. "Playing against home nations on their soil could be tough. To play against India is not going to be easy but when we go out into the pitch it will be our eleven versus their eleven and if we can stick to our basics and plans we can beat any side in our group," he added.
Equally confident are the Netherlands and Canada who have come out of a harsh winter.
"It was a harsh winter for us in the Netherlands. We had a two-week trip to Pune which was very productive and after that we have been stuck indoors. So it is really good to be here," Netherlands captain Peter Borren told Gulf News.
Vastly experienced Kenyan cricketer Steve Tikolo feels that his side is very balanced. "We have the right mix of youth and experience. Working with Jonty Rhodes too has helped us. We have been doing a lot of fielding drills, which we all are enjoying. This will hopefully improve our game and performance," he said.