CRICKET: Kevin O’Brien will skipper Ireland in Scotland ODI series

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Kevin O’Brien will skipper Ireland in their three match ODI series against traditional rivals Scotland in Malahide next month.

O’Brien is one of four changes to the squad which lost to Sri Lanka A last month, along with George Dockrell, Max Sorensen and John Mooney.

The Railway Union all-rounder has recently returned to Ireland from the CPL, where he played an integral role in helping T&T Red Steel reach the semi-finals.

“The focus now for the squad is very much geared towards World Cup preparation, and these three matches against Scotland are an important part of that,” said O’Brien. “There are still places up for grabs and everyone’s working really hard to make sure they’re part of what’s sure to be a fantastic event.

“Scotland are ever improving over the last few years, and have a vibrant young squad mixed in with some experienced players, like Majid Haq and Richie Berrington. Like ourselves, they will be keen to use these games as preparation for the World Cup, but most importantly we both will be looking to win, so I expect these games to be tough and closely contested.

“We’ve got a nice blend of youth and experience in our squad and it’ll be great to meet up with them again for this series. There’s more depth to our cricket now than ever before and a greater competition for places which can only be good for our cricket.”

Wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter retains his place following a ntury against Sri Lanka A, while raeme McCarter, spinner George Dockrell and Andrew Balbirnie are included.

Kevin O’Brien (capt) (Railway Union), John Anderson (Merrion), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), George Dockrell (Somerset), John Mooney (North County), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Graeme McCarter (Gloucestershire), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Stuart Poynter (Durham), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Andrew White (Instonians), Craig Young (Bready).