Saturday, February 4, 2023

Cricket Ireland: Ross Adair called up; Tucker and Tector franchise cricket deals

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Northern Knights’ Ross Adair will join brother Mark in the Ireland Men’s squad that departs for Zimbabwe in early January, while Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector have been granted permission by Cricket Ireland to play in T20 franchise tournaments.

Adair, 28, is the brother of current Irish international, Mark Adair – if selected to play, it will make the pair the first set of brothers to play for Ireland in an international since Niall and Kevin O’Brien in the 3rd ODI against Afghanistan in 2018.

Before turning seriously to cricket, Adair – a right-handed batter and left-arm spinner – had forged a professional rugby union career and appeared for Ulster in the Pro12 competition in the 2014-15 season.

Adair made his List A debut for Northern Knights in 2021, however first appeared for the Knights in a T20 match in August 2020. His last inter-provincial match was in July 2022 when he struck 111 from 49 balls and claimed 1-28 demonstrating his all-round talent.

Adair’s first international call-up comes after Cricket Ireland signed a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to permit Lorcan Tucker to miss the T20 matches of the upcoming Zimbabwe tour next month to play in the Abu Dhabi International League T20 (Paul Stirling has also been granted permission to participate in the league). Tucker will still play for Ireland in the one-day internationals against Zimbabwe.

Also granted permission to play in an upcoming franchise cricket opportunity is Harry Tector, who will feature in the new Nepal T20. However, Tector will join up with the Irish squad ahead of the Zimbabwe fixtures and not miss any international matches.

Andrew White, National Selector, said:

“The Selectors have recognised the development opportunity for Lorcan Tucker in taking up the franchise T20 tournament opportunity next month given the location and quality of players involved. While he had previously been named in the Irish squad for the Zimbabwe tour, we considered that the chance opportunity for Lorcan to play in the UAE franchise league would give him an experience that could greatly benefit his game, while allowing us an opportunity to expand our international talent pool.

“Given the extremely busy year ahead, we have taken advantage of this circumstance to bring in Ross Adair for his first international call up. Ross may be relatively new to representative cricket at this level but is very familiar with operating in a high performance set-up given his previous professional career in rugby. Since turning his focus to cricket, Ross has not only demonstrated a hard-working and dedicated approach to his game but has successfully adopted a dynamic and positive style of play in T20 cricket that reflects the philosophy that Heinrich and his staff have been instilling in our white-ball squads. Ross is still early on in his cricket development, and would likely have been selected for the Ireland Wolves first as a stepping-stone to international cricket, but we believe he has displayed the talent, skill and mindset that will hopefully see him make the step up successfully.

“Getting your first call-up to an international squad is always an exciting time, and we wish Ross well in the coming weeks.”


Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said:

“Cricket Ireland’s view on franchise cricket involvement by our contracted players is that it’s Ireland-first by default. However, on a case-by-case basis, where an opportunity to leverage a franchise league offer may provide a benefit to the Irish set-up or player development, we will consider flexibility in selection. It goes without saying that proximity to major tournaments or where the Head Coach would prefer to have the players available for international matches, that will be the priority.

“The recent success of our senior squad on the world stage has attracted the attention of a range of franchise tournaments – we take this as both a positive sign of our trajectory as a cricket nation and long overdue recognition for the talent on this island. This month alone eight of our senior squad have been involved in franchise leagues, and we expect the demand for Irish talent will only grow over coming years.”


After receiving the call from National Selector Andrew White, Ross Adair said:

“I’m absolutely delighted with the call up, but I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet if I’m honest. It’s a huge honour for me and now I just can’t wait to get away on tour.

“I have always wanted to push myself and get to as high a level as possible. I had a fairly open and honest conversation with Gary Wilson a couple of years ago – Gary is someone I trust very much and wouldn’t mince his words too often, so when he said that there was a chance – a small chance, but a chance nonetheless – that’s what I wanted. I love my cricket and to have the opportunity to potentially represent Ireland at the highest level with Mark, would mean the world to me.”

IRELAND MEN’S ZIMBABWE TOUR

The Ireland Men’s T20I squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, 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.

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

T20I series
  • 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)

ODI Series
  • 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.

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