Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
Cricket Ireland has today announced a 15-player squad for the upcoming men’s World Cup Super League fixtures against Netherlands in early June.
The series will be played in Utrecht, and will involve a three-match ODI series with points won going towards qualification for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023.
Whilst the core squad includes 15 players, an additional four players will also travel to assist with preparations and training given the current COVID-19 restrictions not permitting local support.
The core squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
The four additional players are:
Peter Chase, Stephen Doheny, Graham Kennedy, David O’Halloran.
The fixtures are:
• 2 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Utrecht, 11am local time)
• 4 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Utrecht, 11am local time)
• 7 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Utrecht, 11am local time)
Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said:
“The three World Cup Super League matches against Netherlands will be a stern test for the squad as we head into a busy and consequential summer of international cricket. This is the first of three such series we’re playing over the next few months, and with 30 world cup qualification points up for grabs, we will be keen to claim as many points as we can.”
“The squad selected, not only rewards form, but provides a group of players that offer Graham Ford and Andrew Balbirnie options on any given match day. We have sought to provide continuity with the young players who continue to gain exposure at international level, while still incorporating a number of experienced players whose value around such a squad goes far beyond just their performances on the field.”
“There have been a number of stand-out performers in the Inter-Pros and during the recent Wolves series that really came into contention early on in our discussions, such as Graeme McCarter and George Dockrell. Graeme has proven time-and-time again that he bowls with excellent control, and continually hits that line and length that makes batters uncomfortable. His ability to move the ball has led to many of his wickets this season. Given the conditions we will face in Holland may be very similar to those at home, Graeme’s bowling will be a great asset and is reward for the hard work he has put in over a number of years.”
“It has been very pleasing for the Selectors to see George being, without doubt, the leading batter in domestic cricket in 2021. During the off-season he was challenged to bat more consistently at inter-pro and Wolves level. His natural ability has always been there to see, but the way he has risen to the challenge so far is a great credit to him. We have high hopes that he can carry that form into the international arena, and bat with the freedom and confidence that he really began to show in 2020, and has pushed even further forward in 2021.”
“It has also been really encouraging to see a number of other players, who were unfortunate to miss out, putting in performances of note over recent weeks. It is a testament to the strength of Irish cricket that there is intense competition for places, and it is a great sign that when we see legends of the game like Gary Wilson and Boyd Rankin retire, we then have numerous players stepping up and showing a burning desire to make their own mark at international level.”
“In addition to the core squad, we have an opportunity for a few of our emerging talented young players to travel with the senior squad and gain valuable experience and insights into international cricket life. While they will be there to assist with preparation and training, for players who are aspiring to take that next step in their careers, the developmental opportunity for them should be invaluable.”
“We are all looking forward to this series and I wish the squad well as they head to Utrecht in a week’s time – and hopefully return home with some valuable world cup qualification points.”