Photo Credit: Sportsfile
Cricket Ireland has today released the Ireland Men’s squads that are set to take on Zimbabwe in a six-match, multi-format white-ball series to be played next month in Zimbabwe.
The tour represents the start of a busy year for the Ireland Men’s squad that includes four tours, several home series, competing in two world cup qualifying campaigns and holds the tantalising prospect of playing at the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India at the end of the year.
The two sides recently met at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup where Zimbabwe secured a 31-run win in Hobart.
The Ireland Men’s T20I squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White.
The Ireland Men’s ODI squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker.
Andrew White, National Selector, said:
“2023 will be the year when we return to playing all three formats. However, with a T20 World Cup Qualifier in July and a possible 50-over Cricket World Cup in October – if we can qualify – the importance of this white-ball series is obvious. The volume of cricket next year demands that we will need a broader pool of ‘international-ready’ players to meet the challenges ahead, and the Zimbabwe tour will be the start of that process.
“While the squads selected reflect the new dynamism and positive philosophy that Heinrich and his staff have been instilling in our white-ball squads, we have taken advantage of the decision to allow a couple of our players the opportunity to participate in franchise tournaments. Paul Stirling will feature in the one-day series against Zimbabwe but has been granted approval to miss the T20I series and play in the new International League T20, while Josh Little has been granted approval to miss the T20I series to play in the SA20.
“This flexibility in selection will allow us to provide a number of fringe players a chance – most notably, Stephen Doheny, who is in line to make his international debut after serving a lengthy apprenticeship, while we welcome back Tyrone Kane to the senior set-up. Tyrone has changed the dynamic of what he can bring to the table in recent seasons, and with selection policy seeking to choose players that fit the playing philosophy, his mid to late overs batting clearly fits the bill. Coincidentally, Tyrone’s last match for Ireland was against Zimbabwe, and we wish him well for his return to the national side.
“With Paul and Josh missing the T20I series, this has created space for the return of Ben White and Neil Rock. Ben has benefited from spending time with Spin Bowling Coach Nathan Hauritz in the nets and is continuing to develop his legspin, and Neil will come into the squad in largely a batting capacity.
“Ireland versus Zimbabwe is always a competitive tussle, and with both sides coming off the back of good performances at the recent T20 World Cup, we expect no difference in this series.”
NB: Conor Olphert and Craig Young were not considered for selection due to injury. Their respective rehabilitation programmes are progressing well, however, won’t have them fit in time for the tour.
THE FIXTURE SCHEDULE
The Zimbabwe tour will feature three T20 Internationals, followed by three one-day internationals. All matches will be played at Harare Sports Club.
The fixture details are
• 12 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 14 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 15 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 18 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
• 20 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
• 23 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
Broadcast/livestream details will be advised in due course.