Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
Almost six years after his last international match for Ireland, Graeme McCarter will be determined to make the most of his ‘second chance’ to wear the green after prolonged period of impressive domestic cricket performances – and a starring role for the Ireland Wolves earlier this month – saw him force his way back into the senior squad.
McCarter, 28, made his international debut in 2011 in a first-class match against Namibia. He played seven times for Ireland between 2011 and 2015, taking 7 wickets, including a best of 3-13 against Scotland in 2013.
A bowler renowned for his control, movement and swing who often troubles top order batters, McCarter plays for the Northern Knights in the Inter-Provincial Series. He has featured for the Knights 15 times across all formats in the last three seasons, claiming 18 wickets at an average of 21.56 – but conceding just 3.40 runs per over.
However, it was his recent exploits during the recent Ireland Wolves v Netherlands A series in Ireland that really caught the selectors eye, where he claimed 9 wickets in three matches at an incredible average of 10.89, and a best of 6-32. His aforementioned swing and movement accounted for many of those dismissals and was a key reason why McCarter now finds himself in Netherlands as part of the senior squad.
Speaking from the team hotel, McCarter said:
“I was absolutely buzzing when Andrew White [Chair of Selectors] gave me the call, and so excited to get the greens on again. If I have the chance to play, I’ll be pretty proud walking out again, but it’s good to have had that experience of having done it before.”
“I’ve always wanted to play for Ireland again, and it makes it that bit more sweeter having been able to fight my way back in after 6 years. I never gave up the hope of international cricket, and have probably been bowling the best I ever have these last few years.”
“There have been three main guys in cricket circles who have really helped me get back to this level – Simon Johnston, Ryan Eagleson and James Kennedy. Jonty has been so enthusiastic over the years and he has always backed me, we have a great relationship where he understands my work commitments too and never has an issue when I can’t make a session because he knows I’d be there if I could!”
“Eagy is great from a bowling side of things and it’s always great to pick his brain – we have worked together since I was about 15, so he knows my bowling better than anyone. And finally, JK has been a brilliant mate since playing together at CSNI five years ago – we talk all things cricket on the golf course too, and he’s helped me through all the good and bad times.”
Asked about his role in the team, he said:
“I have always looked at myself as the control bowler in any team, and I have made a point to try and be the most consistent bowler in Ireland over the past few seasons. I’ll never blow a batter over with my pace, but I try to make up for that with accuracy and movement.”
“The big thing for me over here would be just continue what I’ve done to get here and don’t try anything different. The younger me would have thought I need to try loads of things to prove I’m good enough for this level.”
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:
• 2 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Utrecht, 10.30am local time)
• 4 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Utrecht, 10.30am local time)
• 7 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Utrecht, 10.30am local time)
The matches will be available to watch via livestream in Ireland at: https://youtube.com/user/CricketNederland
THE IRELAND SQUAD
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, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.
The four additional players are:
Peter Chase, Stephen Doheny, Graham Kennedy, David O’Halloran.
Matches played as part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-2023) are essentially World Cup Qualifier matches, as the League will serve as part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process. See the current WCSL table as it stands.
The WCSL features thirteen teams, the twelve Full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the Netherlands (who won the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship to qualify for this competition). Each team will play an ODI series against eight of the twelve opponents, four series at home and four away. Each series will consist of three ODIs. For the World Cup, the hosts (India in 2023), and the top seven-ranked sides thereafter, will qualify automatically. The remaining five teams will play in a qualifying event along with five Associate sides, from which two sides will go through to the final tournament.