Cricket Ireland has announced their squad for the RSA Challenge ODI against England at Clontarf Cricket Club Ground, Dublin on Thursday August 25th.
Offspinner Albert van der Merwe returns to the squad after recovering from an elbow injury, while Trent Johnston (knee) and Alex Cusack (back) have also recovered from injury.
Andre Botha, who retired following the ICC World Cup squad 2011, is the only player missing from the 15-man squad who travelled to India.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons is delighted to have named a full strength squad, “Everyone wants to play in this game and it’s great that I have a fully fit squad to choose from.”
“We’re aware that this is the biggest game in our calendar this summer, and it’s sure to be a great occasion with a full house at Clontarf.
“It’s going to be a historic game with England playing in Dublin for the first time, and we’re hopeful that the team will give the fans plenty to cheer about on the day.
“I’m sure England will be coming with revenge very much in their minds following the World Cup. The days of teams coming over to Ireland and taking us lightly have long gone – we’ve earned their respect with our performances over the past decade, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield said Ireland were looking forward to perform against England.
“This is the game everyone in Irish cricket has been talking about, and really looking forward to,” said Porterfield.
“It’s been a sell-out for five months, and there’s sure to be an incredible atmosphere at the ground. We’ve long shaken off the enthusiastic amateur tag – there’s now eight of us plying our trade in county cricket, and turning in consistent performances.
“All but two of our squad earn our living from cricket, making us virtually a full-time outfit, and our cricket has improved year on year, as our results show.
“This is a vastly experienced squad, with nine of the guys having played 100 times or more for us – even George (Dockrell), who just turned 19 last month has made 46 appearances, while Paul Stirling at 21 has played 81 times.
“We’re all aware we’ve lost the element of surprise, and also that there’s now a real expectation from the cricketing public on us to perform.
“We’re confident that we have the players in this squad to do just that, although we do realize that it won’t be easy against an England team showing such great form against India at the minute.”
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.