Andrew Balbirnie to lead Ireland Wolves squad for Bangladesh A series

Andrew Balbirnie in action for Ireland.
Andrew Balbirnie in action for Ireland.

Cricket Ireland has announced a strong 16-man squad to take on a visiting Bangladesh A side across an eight match series in early August, led by Ireland international Andrew Balbirnie

Selectors will use the series to provide an opportunity to assess the form of and provide opportunities for up-and-coming players, with the Afghanistan series ahead in late August and with an eye to the ICC World T20 Qualifier tournament in 2019.

Pete Johnston, Wolves Head Coach and Academy Manager, said: “Bangladesh A will provide the Wolves with an excellent challenge, despite suffering a series whitewash over the winter to the same opponents. It will be exciting to see how we match up in our home conditions and the challenge will be to play a competitive ODI series and hopefully come out the right side of it.

“The selectors have chosen a strong squad with an even mix of emerging talent and current centrally contracted players. Several young players stood out from our recent successful series with a strong Scotland A side and have been rewarded with selection, while a few will no doubt consider themselves unlucky not to play a part in this series. That said our forthcoming Academy fixtures will be another opportunity for many of those guys. Increasing the depth of competition for places and opportunities in all formats for the Academy and Wolves will be key to senior team success as we enter the Future Tours Programme and its demands.

“Andrew Balbirnie has Captained the Wolves before and will bring a vast amount of international experience to the side. With an Afghanistan series just around the corner for the Senior team, these games provide a timely opportunity for everyone in the squad.”

Ahead of the series, the selectors have identified 14-man match day squads for the five 50-over matches, chosen from the wider 16-man Wolves series squad. These decisions were made on a squad rotation basis and availability of players. The selectors will announce the T20 squad in early August.