Ireland call up CSNI and Northern Knights seamer Matthew Foster for England Test at Lord’s

Ireland have called up CSNI and Northern Knights seamer Matthew Foster for next week’s one-off Test against England at Lord’s following Conor Olphert’s injury setback.
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Olphert was progressing well in his recovery from a knee injury but the problem has resurfaced in recent weeks, meaning the 27-year-old will not be fit for the four-day Test from June 1-4.

Cricket Ireland announced in a statement that Olphert’s place in the squad goes to 23-year-old Foster, who has recovered from an injury of his own that meant he was unavailable for Ireland’s recent tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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Foster will link up with the rest of the squad ahead of their departure to England on Wednesday evening as they prepare to face Essex in a three-day warm-up game at Chelmsford, getting underway on Friday, before moving onto Lord’s.

Matthew FosterMatthew Foster
Matthew Foster

Ireland have also confirmed their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

The Qualifier event, which will be held between June 18 and July 9, will see 10 teams competing for two spots in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Andrew Balbirnie’s side are in Group B and kick off their campaign against Oman at the Bulawayo Athletic Club (June 19) before taking on Scotland (June 21), Sri Lanka (June 25) and UAE (June 27).

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The top three teams from each group then progress to the Super Six stage, starting on June 29.

“We’re heading into a big few months and it’s looking at what personnel we need from a tactical point of view, who are in form, and a squad composition that suits the conditions we are likely to face,” said Andrew White, National Men’s Selector. “In the latter stages of the tournament, for example, we are likely to be playing on used pitches, so that’s where we see the value of a Ben White coming to the fore.

“But before we look too far ahead, we have to start well and we’ve put together what we think is our best squad to meet that challenge.

"With a seam attack of Adair, Little, Young, McCarthy, Hume and Campher we feel we’re heading towards our best attack once more, while PJ Moor’s experience in Zimbabwean conditions and his versatility batting anywhere from 1 to 7 gives us great cover.

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“Unfortunately, hard decisions had to be made, and Stephen Doheny misses out on this trip. Stephen is a player we admire and want to continue to invest in, but we think the time is right for him, just now, to take a step back and work on a few technical aspects of his game at the domestic level.

“Qualifier events are tough, cut-throat competitions at times and a balance of talent, form and experience is essential. We believe we have achieved that and I know that Irish supporters will be right behind the players and staff in their quest for World Cup qualification.”

Ireland’s squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier: Andrew Balbirnie (capt) (Pembroke), Mark Adair (CIYMS), Curtis Campher (YMCA), Gareth Delany (Leinster), George Dockrell (Phoenix), Graham Hume (Waringstown), Josh Little (Pembroke), Andy McBrine (Donemana), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), PJ Moor (Clontarf), Paul Stirling (North Down), Harry Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Ben White (Phoenix), Craig Young (Bready).