CRICKET: Andy McBrine to skipper youthful Ireland A team

North West Warriors Andrew McBrine will skipper Ireland A side against MCC. Picture by Rowland White/PressEye

North West Warriors Andrew McBrine will skipper Ireland A side against MCC. Picture by Rowland White/PressEye

Donemana’s Andy McBrine will captain a youthful Ireland A squad in their upcoming match against the MCC.

The average age of the 12-man squad is just 24, with the Donemana all-rounder one of ten players to have represented Ireland Under 19’s.

Also joining McBrine in the squad is fellow North West Warriors Stuart Thompson,

There are two new faces in the squad with the YMCA pair of Sean Terry and Yaqoob Ali named.

Former Hampshire batsman Terry made his debut for Leinster Lightning in their Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship game against Northern Knights yesterday, while Yaqoob has played an integral role in Leinster’s success in recent years.

For coach Peter Johnston, it’s a great opportunity to work with such a talented young squad.

“I’m very excited to be working with this squad of players,” said Johnston.

“Competition for places has been strong and it is now down to those selected to embrace the opportunity and give their best for the team.

Johnston was pleased with the depth in the squad - no fewer than eight of the side have played senior international cricket - and he’s hoping that they can take their game to the next level and earn a regular place in the senior side.

“The selectors have picked a side that has a nice balance with variety in the bowling department of pace, swing and even mystery spin - all helpful attributes to have in a team if you want to take 20 wickets.”

“In terms of batting there is also good depth, and I’ve no doubt these guys can apply themselves by playing to their strengths which is why they have been selected. We have a good combination of stroke players and dynamic batters.

“The vast majority of this team have proved themselves through our youth system, inter-provincial series or emerging players programme. Our pathway to Test cricket continues and we will be looking closely at how everyone goes about their business during this game and the three-day game against traditional rivals Scotland.”

Johnston is delighted to have Andy McBrine skippering the squad in the matches - the 23 year-old has shown himself as a dynamic leader of the NW Warriors in the Inter-Provincial competition.

“Andy McBrine has proved himself to be an excellent leader and captaining this side will be another step in his development. His experience and strong game sense will no doubt benefit the group greatly.”

Chairman of Selectors Alan Lewis welcomed the matches saying: “As a selection group we are delighted to have these two upcoming fixtures.

“We look forward to playing more games at this level where we feel we can balance performance in the Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial competitions with identifying talent that may play for Ireland in the future.

“We hope this has been reflected in this selection. There will always be different pathways to playing at this level and again I think this is reflected here. There are younger ones who we want to expose to this environment and hopefully benefit from the experience too.”

The first match against the MCC takes place at Bready next week from May 24-26 (11am each day), with the Scotland A fixture from June 6-8 at New Cambusdoon, Ayr.

The squad for the Scotland A fixture will be released after the conclusion of the MCC fixture.

Ireland A squad: Andy McBrine (Captain Donemana), Yaqoob Ali (YMCA), Peter Chase (Malahide), Chris Dougherty (CIYMS), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Graeme McCarter (CSNI), Eddie Richardson (North County), James Shannon (Instonians), Jack Tector (YMCA), Sean Terry (YMCA), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke).