Photo Credit: Sportsfile
Cricket Ireland has agreed to a date change in the fixture schedule of the men’s tour to Zimbabwe, while recalled all-rounder Tyrone Kane is looking forward to his first senior tour.
In anticipation of a large spectator turnout, Zimbabwe Cricket and Cricket Ireland have agreed to move the second one-day international (ODI) match between their senior men’s teams in Harare this month to a Saturday. That game was originally scheduled for Friday, 20 January, but it will now be played on Saturday, 21 January. The rest of the schedule remains unchanged, with the first ODI set for Wednesday, 18 January, and the third and final taking place on Monday, 23 January.
The tour schedule is:
• 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)
• 21 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)
The squad departs Ireland on 7 January.
Zimbabwe Cricket are shortly to announce broadcast details.
Kane, 28, debuted for Ireland in a T20 International against Scotland in 2015 and has 10 caps to date, which includes playing in Ireland Men’s inaugural Test Match in 2018.
While the Zimbabwe tour will be his first senior tour for Ireland, Kane has been overseas on several Ireland Wolves tours and was part of the Ireland Under-19s team at the ICC Under-19 Men’s World Cup in 2012 (he finished highest run-scorer for Ireland at the tournament and claimed five wickets).
Since his last international in July 2019 – coincidentally against Zimbabwe – Kane made changes in his game, which were partly spurred by two key moves to reinvigorate his career in 2021 – at Inter-Provincial level he moved from Leinster Lightning to Munster Reds, and at club level he switched from Merrion CC to Phoenix CC.
Part of the Munster Reds first-ever title winning IP50 side, Kane came particularly to the fore in the T20 format with the bat where he struck 203 runs at 40.60 at a strike rate of 169.17. He was the fourth highest run-scorer for the competition, striking 16 sixes along the way (the second-most of any batter).
Speaking about his international recall, Kane said:
“Yeah, I was thrilled to get the call from Andrew White [National Selector], it felt brilliant to get the nod to be back involved. I was always determined to get back into the fold, but knew I needed some performances to back it up. So thankfully I held up my end of the bargain and now have another chance to make an impact on the international stage.”
Asked about the improvements in his game in recent seasons, he said:
“There wasn’t a deliberate plan to changing my game as such, I’ve always been capable of scoring quickly and hitting sixes, but more so it was about the consistency over the last year is something I’ve been working towards. The move from Leinster Lightning to Munster Reds and getting the chance to bat up the order has been a huge driving factor. Without the move down to Munster, I don’t think I would be in this position now.
“When I was left out of the Cricket Ireland contracts list at the end 2020, I felt it was the right time to change both provincial and club set-ups. A reset was needed, so it definitely had a positive impact. But I’ve enjoyed brilliant times at both clubs throughout my time there.
“I think every coach you come across adds a little piece to how you develop your game, so combining all those little nuggets of knowledge together helps the overall end result. Whether it be previous coaches in the Inter-Provincial teams, or the Irish coaches over the years, I feel I’ve gained a lot from working with all of them.”
Asked about any interactions he has had with Men’s Head Coach Heinrich Malan, he said:
“Heinrich’s been great. Being outside the contracts list and working full time, it can sometimes feel like you’re a long way from being involved. He’s been incredibly helpful, keeping a line of communication always open on what the team is looking for and what as a player I needed to improve to get an opportunity. There’s always tweaks and different aspects of the game that can be worked on and he’s helped massively to put that all together.”
THE IRELAND SQUADS FOR 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.