Cricket Ireland have named an experienced squad of 14 ahead of their crucial tour of the UAE next month.
John Mooney returns following his hand injury and is joined by Instonians batsman James Shannon, who is preferred to Eglinton all-rounder Stuart Thompson. No fewer than twelve of the squad featured in the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: “It’s pretty much among expected lines. These games are vital in our quest to gain one of the two automatic World Cup qualification places.
“When the pressure is on, I’ve found there’s no substitute for experience.
“Nine of our squad have played for their country 100 times or more, and eleven of them have World Cup experience.
“It was a difficult decision to leave out Stuart Thompson, but the selectors felt we had enough seam bowling all-rounders in the squad already, so we went for the extra batting cover that James Shannon provides.
“He’s worked incredibly hard and deserves his chance having missed out on the tour to Sri Lanka.
“The conditions are going to be tough and UAE have shown they’re difficult to beat on home soil with the wins last year against Afghanistan.
“We’ve an excellent track record against them though, and I’d be confident of picking up the wins we need to stay top of both tables.
“The lads will work hard when they are with us.”