Ireland at full strength for African tour

William Porterfield
William Porterfield

Ireland will be at full strength for their tour of Zimbabwe and Namibia next month.

Kevin O’Brien has recovered from a hamstring injury which saw him miss the Hanley Energy ODI against Australia, while the addition of Stuart Poynter for the Zimbabwean leg of the tour is the only change to the squad which ran the World Champions so close in Belfast.

“It’s fantastic that everyone is fit and raring to go for the tour,” said Ireland captain William Porterfield. “We know it’s going to be a good test but it’ll be one we’re well prepared for.

“We’ve been involved in some great games with Zimbabwe over the years and I’m certain this series will bring more of the same. We all remember the World Cup games, with the tie in the West Indies in 2007 and our five run win in Hobart at the start of the year.

“I don’t think there’s too much between the sides and I guess the ICC rankings reflect that. We’ve a lot of experienced campaigners in our squad, and I’m confident we’ll do well in the games.”

On the game against Namibia, Porterfield wanted Ireland to build on their winning start to the ICC InterContinental Cup: “We’ve made a winning start with a solid win over the UAE, and we’ll be looking to continue that against Namibia. They can be a dangerous side - especially in their home conditions - but we’re backing ourselves to continue our excellent record in this competition.

“We’re the holders and have won the event four times. There’s obviously the extra incentive this time with the chance to qualify to play Test cricket, and that’s the ambition of everyone at Cricket Ireland.”

Ireland play three ODI’s against Zimbabwe in Harare on October 9, 11 and 13, before a four-day match against Zimbabwe A from October 17-20.

Ireland then travel to Windhoek where they play Namibia in the second round of the InterContinental Cup from October 17-20.