Kevin O’Brien to lead Ireland against Namibia

Cricket Ireland have announced a 13 man squad for their Intercontinental Cup clash with Namibia at Stormont from September 6-9.

The match was originally scheduled for early July but was postponed because the Namibia players were facing issues getting their visas.

Gloucestershire all-rounder Kevin O’Brien will captain the side in the absence of William Porterfield and Trent Johnston.

“I’m really excited to be captaining the side against Namibia, althought it’s not the first time I’ve had the honour,” said Kevin O’Brien.

“I took charge against West Indies A in Belfast last year, and also when we played Kenya in Dubai just before the start of the World Cup, but this will be slightly different.”

“This will be a great experience for me, and the four-day game gives skippers a chance to try different ideas and put their own stamp on the team.

“We have a few new faces in the squad for the game, with Stuart Poynter and Graeme McCarter both uncapped at senior level. This is an excellent chance for them, and the rest of the squad to make a mark ahead of the winter schedule.”

“I’ve played with some great Irish captains in William Porterfield, Trent Johnston, and Kyle McCallan. Hopefully some of their style has rubbed off on me, and we’ll get our campaign off to a winning start. We’ve won the cup three times in recent years, and are keen to take the title back from Afghanistan.”

Stuart Poynter, the 21-year-old wicketkeeper, joins his older brother Andrew in the squad, while 18-year-old Graeme McCarter, who took 14 wickets in the recent Under-19 World Cup qualifying tournament, has also been included.

Boyd Rankin, contracted with Warwickshire, Niall O’Brien, who plays for Northamptonshire, and Sussex’s Ed Joyce will all miss the game, which is Ireland’s first four-day match in this year’s Intercontinental Cup.

Ireland squad: Kevin O’Brien (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Phil Eaglestone, Nigel Jones, Graeme McCarter, John Mooney, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

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