Cricket Ireland have named a full-strength squad for their upcoming ODI’s against Canada that will be played at Clontarf next week.
Trent Johnston, who has recovered from a knee injury, is looking to end the season on a high.
“I had the cortisone injection two weeks ago and the knee has been a lot better since then. I’ve a lot more mobility, and I’m due to start bowling again in the nets tomorrow while the Icup game is going on. I’ll be building up my workload as the week progresses, and I’d be pretty confident of playing next week.
“Having said that, I’ll probably still have the operation on my knee on the 29th of this month. If that goes to plan, I’ll be back in full training in December ahead of the tour of Kenya and the T20 World Cup Qualifiers in UAE in mid March.”
On the decision to award two World Cup places to the top two sides in the ongoing ODI league, Johnston was full of praise for the ICC.
I think they’ve got it spot on. The beauty of a league means that more often than not the best two sides will emerge on top. I don’t think that was necessarily the case at the ICC Trophy in South Africa in 2009. There’s always the fall back for the countries that don’t make it with the additional two places at the qualifying tournament in Scotland.”
Ireland coach Phil Simmons welcomed the news from ICC that there will be two automatic places in the 2015 World Cup for the sides which finish first and second in the ODI league, which has already begun.
“It certainly gives all the one-day games in the league some extra spice, and there’s sure to be some high pressure games as the league progresses. We’ve gotten off to a good start beating Namibia twice, and we’ll be looking to add to that with wins against Canada. We’ve tried to schedule the games to give ourselves the best chance of having everyone available, which isn’t always easy.
“I like experience in my squad as everyone knows, and it’s no surprise that it’s the World Cup squad, with the exception of Andre Botha. We’ve been boosted by the return of Trent, who always gives the squad a lift by his very presence.”
Ireland ODI 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.