Cricket Ireland today named a squad of 14 for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament which is being held in the UAE next month.
The squad includes 12 of the players who toured the subcontinent for the World Cup. The two players who didn’t travel to the sub-continent were Rory McCann and Hills all-rounder Max Sorensen.
McCann edged out Stuart Poynter in the battle to replace Niall O’Brien, who wasn’t considered due to his participation in the Bangladesh Premier League.
There is no place for Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh, who recently became eligible for Ireland after obtaining an Irish passport.
Chairman of Selectors Ross McCollum explained the squad composition saying, “We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification.
“It is indeed a very experienced squad, which we feel will serve us in good stead in high pressure games.
“While we haven’t named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements, and we’ll have no hesitation in bringing either in if any injuries occur.
“Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out, but we felt that given the prolific form that Rory McCann showed in domestic cricket in 2011 in the NCU, that he deserved his chance.”
Ireland have been drawn in Group B in the 16 team tournament alongside Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Uganda, Kenya, USA, and Italy. Two qualification places are on offer, with the successful teams travelling to Sri Lanka in September.
The winners will be placed in the same group as Australia and West Indies, while the small matter of England and India await the second qualifer.
Following the conclusion of their current tour in Kenya, the team will travel for a training camp in South Africa, where they will also play three Twenty20 fixtures against The Warriors.
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Rory McCann, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
Replacements: Tim Murtagh, Andrew Poynter, James Shannon, Albert van der Merwe.