Cricket Ireland have announced their squads for the ICC World T20 Qualifying tournament and the three match T20 International series against Scotland, which takes place at Bready later this month.
North West men William Porterfield, Andrew McBrine, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young and Graeme McCarter are all part of both the World T20 Qualifier and T20 International squads.
“The World Cup Qualifier squad has a nice blend of youth and experience despite the retirements of Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh last week,” stated Head Coach John Bracewell.
“There have been a lot of match winning efforts by our guys in the T20 Blast in England too, so everyone looks to be in really fine form going into these games.”
Bracewell admitted it was a tough decision to leave out Max Sorensen and Andrew Poynter from the World Cup Qualfiying squad: “It certainly was a very hard decision to omit the two guys and they are naturally disappointed. They are included in the Scotland series, so they have a chance to impress should they be needed in case of injuries during the qualifiers.”
Kevin O’Brien skippers Ireland in the Scotland series, with William Porterfield unavailable. Gary Wilson and Niall O’Brien also have county commitments so Durham keeper Stuart Poynter will don the gloves.
“The three game series against Scotland will provide a tough work-out for the squad ahead of the qualifying competition,” said Bracewell. “I know all too well about local rivalries and bragging rights, so I’m certain the matches against Scotland will be incredibly competitive - but that’s just what we need.”
World T20 Qualifier squad (July 6-26) - William Porterfield (capt) (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Graeme McCarter (Coleraine), John Mooney (Balbriggan), Niall O’Brien (Leicestershire), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Stuart Poynter (Durham), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).
Scotland T20I series (June 18, 19, and 21 at Bready CC) - Kevin O’Brien (capt) (Railway Union), Andrew Balbirnie* (Middlesex), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell* (Somerset), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Graeme McCarter (Coleraine), John Mooney (Balbriggan), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Stuart Poynter* (Durham), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling* (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Craig Young (Bready).
*All county contracted players are subject to release by their respective counties, and some will be available for one or two matches only.