Ireland squad remains unchanged for World Cup

Captain William Porterfield is contesting his third World Cup with Ireland
Captain William Porterfield is contesting his third World Cup with Ireland

Ireland’s selectors have confirmed their squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February.

There are no changes to the 15 players named in December for the training camp and tri-series in Dubai against Afghanistan and Scotland.

Captain William Porterfield is one of five players who will be participating in their third World Cup, along with the O’Brien brothers, Ed Joyce, and John Mooney.

At the other end of the spectrum, it will be the first time at a World Cup for six of the squad, with Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Andrew McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Stuart Thompson, and Craig Young making their tournament debuts.

“It’s fantastic to be leading Ireland in another global tournament,” said 30-year-old Porterfield.

“We’ve produced some wonderful performances over the years in World Cups, and there’s no reason why we can’t claim further successes in Australia and New Zealand.

“While we may have lost the surprise factor over the years, we’ve certainly gained a lot of respect for our brand of cricket which has been pretty pleasing.

“There’s a great mix as always in the squad, and the younger guys coming through are all hungry which keeps the more experienced players on their toes,” he added.

“Competition for places has been fierce and that’s got to be good for Irish cricket.”

Ireland have opted not to name any replacements yet, but Head Coach Phil Simmons did reveal they had taken five bowlers with the squad to Dubai to help with their preparations.

“We’ve got five extra seamers with the World Cup squad here in Dubai,” said Simmons, who arrived with the Irish squad in the Emirates on Sunday.

“Max Sorensen, Graeme McCarter, Eddie Richardson, Tyrone Kane and Barry McCarthy will all bowl in the nets and will provide a great resource in our build-up.

“It’s our intention to have some additional players based in Australia to provide cover for the World Cup squad and we’ll finalise those arrangements in the coming weeks.

“It’s important that we’ll have players who can hit the ground running if we suffer any injuries during the two months of the event.”

Ireland play four ODI’s in the UAE and following a short return to Irish shores, depart for Australia at the end of January for a training camp and fixture against Sydney based club Randwick Petersham.

The Irish stay in Sydney for official warm-up matches against Scotland and Bangladesh, before flying to New Zealand to face West Indies in their opening game in Hamilton on February 16th.

IRELAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

William Porterfield (Captain) (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), Peter Chase (Malahide), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Ed Joyce (Sussex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Leicestershire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).

WORLD CUP FIXTURES

Feb 10 v Scotland (warm-up), Sydney

Feb 12 v Bangladesh (warm-up) Sydney

Feb 16 v West Indies, Nelson

Feb 25 v UAE, Brisbane

March 3 v South Africa, Canberra

March 7 v Zimbabwe, Hobart

March 10 v India, Hamilton

March 15 v Pakistan, Adelaide

March 18-21 Quarter finals

March 24-26 Semi-finals

March 29 Final