Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
DUBLIN – 21-year old uncapped wicket-keeper/batsman Stephen Doheny has flown out to India as a replacement for Gary Wilson in the Ireland Men’s squad, who are set to play a T20 International series against Afghanistan starting on Friday. Ryan Eagleson, Academy Performance Coach, will also be flying out tomorrow to join the squad coaching staff, supporting acting Head Coach Rob Cassell in Graham Ford’s absence.
It’s been a busy last five months for Rush Cricket Club’s Doheny, who has just returned from South Africa where he was playing with the Ireland Wolves against Namibia. Immediately prior to this he had been based for the Irish winter in Sydney, playing club cricket with Randwick Petersham.
Speaking from Dublin before flying out to India, Doheny said:
“It’s obviously a great honour for me to be called up to the T20 squad. It will be a great learning experience for me and one that I am really looking forward to.”
“When I received the call from Andrew White [Chair of National Men’s Selectors] I was delighted. I was in South Africa getting ready for a game the next day and have to admit I was caught off guard when he rang. It is something that I have been working hard towards for a long time and it is satisfying to know that all the many, many hours of training and preparation have paid off. I am aware the hard work is only really starting now, but I am looking forward to getting to India to hit the ground running.”
“I’ve enjoyed a great winter away with Randwick Petersham Cricket Club in Sydney and had the opportunity to break down my game and work on specific skills. Having the chance to play outdoors all winter has most definitely impacted my game in a positive fashion and given me the confidence to perform on the pitch.”
Doheny replaces the experienced Gary Wilson from the squad who hasn’t travelled to India. Wilson, who was also in South Africa with the Wolves squad, fell ill and was laid up in his hotel room for the majority of the tour. While he received medical care, Cricket Ireland medical staff made the decision to be cautious with his recovery and recommended Wilson return home instead of travelling on to India, given the busy schedule upcoming.
Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said:
“Stephen has earned this call up to the Ireland T20 squad – his sustained hard work in the nets, while putting in consistent performances on the field, have helped both his game and his self-confidence immensely. While we feel desperately sorry for Gary [Wilson], these circumstances presented us with an opportunity to provide valuable experience to a really promising young player. We needed to cover both batting and keeping and Stephen fits the bill nicely for this short tour to India.”
Neil Rock was unavailable for consideration due to injury.
Also joining the Ireland squad, in a coaching capacity, is former Irish international and current Academy Performance Coach, Ryan Eagleson. Eagleson will support acting Head Coach Rob Cassell as a bowling and fielding coach, completing the coaching set up after Head Coach Graham Ford had earlier been forced to withdraw from the tour.
With the Irish squad already in camp in Greater Noida, and set to train today, the team has brought the Indian coach Vinayak Mane in to assist with preparations until Eagleson arrives. Mane recently supported England Lions on its tour to India.
The fixtures will be played at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh in India – the matches being:
• Friday 6 March 2020 (start 2pm local time; 8.30am GMT)
• Sunday 8 March 2020 (start 2pm local time; 8.30am GMT)
• Tuesday 10 March 2020 (start 2pm local time; 8.30am GMT)
The series will be livestreamed in Ireland and the UK.
Ireland T20I squad
The 14-player squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.