Cricket Ireland have named a squad of fifteen for their Caribbean tour later this month.
The team will play in the West Indies domestic 50 over competition, the Nagico Super50, followed by two T20I’s and an ODI against the West Indies in Jamaica.
Bready speedster Craig Young is included, and there’s also a recall for Clontarf batsman Andrew Poynter.
“Craig has been in Brisbane for the past eight weeks working with bowling coach ‘Billy’ McDermott,” said Ireland coach Phil Simmons.
“The feedback from Australia on Craig and the other two guys - Graeme McCarter and Peter Chase - has been excellent. They’ve impressed everyone with their commitment and attitude, and they’ve all got big futures. We felt that Craig had the edge in terms of extra pace and that would be a useful asset in the West Indies. He also had a very successful debut against Scotland last year, when he took six wickets and bowled pretty hostile spells.”
On the recall for 26 year-old Clontarf batsman Andrew Poynter, who won the last of his 44 caps against South Africa A in 2012, Simmons said:”Andrew has worked hard on all aspects of his game and the selectors felt he deserved another opportunity. He scored hundreds in both the RSA Irish Senior Cup final and the Inter-Provincial Series, so his domestic form has been top class.”
Sussex captain Ed Joyce will only travel for the three internationals against the West Indies, with Simmons explaining the rationale behind the decision.
“The selectors and Ed agreed that this competition was a good opportunity to rest him with a gruelling schedule ahead in 2014. It’s nearly ten months of full-on cricket and we’ve got to be careful with Ed’s fitness.”
Donemana all-rounder Andrew McBrine has been given the nod ahead of Andrew White, who will have to wait for the chance to become Ireland’s most capped player - he is currently level with Kyle McCallan on 226.
“Andrew McBrine continues to develop and is improving all the time, especially with his bowling. He’s an intelligent cricketer and has the right attitude and attributes to succeed,” said West Indian legend Simmons.
“Andy White is still in the frame for selection but we felt McBrine was a better option in the shorter format. Although we’re playing in the Nagico Super50, the focus will be on preparation for the games against the West Indies and the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.”
All Ireland’s games in the Nagico Super50 will take place at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, with Guyana their first opponents on January 31. Their second fixture is The Windward Islands on February 3, while their group stage concludes against Jamaica on February 8.
The semi-finals take place on February 12 and 13, with the final down for decision on the 15th.
The squad then travels to Jamaica where they play T20I’s against West Indies on February 19 and 21, while the tour concludes with an ODI on February 23. These games will see Ireland take on the reigning Twenty20 World Champions on their home soil. It will also see the Boys In Green returning to Sabina Park, the scene of their famous St Patrick’s Day win over Pakistan at the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007.
The Ireland squad in full is as follows: William Porterfield (capt) (Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Ed Joyce (Sussex)*, John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Leicestershire), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).
*International games only
Nagico Super 50
All at Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
Ireland v Guyana, January 31st
Ireland v Windward Islands, February 3rd
Ireland v Jamaica, February 8th
West Indies vs Ireland
All at Sabina Park, Jamaica
Wednesday, February 19: 1st T20 International
Friday, February 21: 2nd T20 International
Sunday, February 23: One-Day International