Andrew White hails Ireland squad balance before Test trip to face England

Ireland's William Porterfield. Pic by INPHO.
Ireland's William Porterfield. Pic by INPHO.
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Ireland have named a 14-man squad for their first Test match against England at Lord’s.

The historic four-day Test between the two countries takes place from July 24-27.

William Porterfield skippers a side that includes experienced county cricket performers Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin and Gary Wilson.

“The historic nature of this Test match will not be lost on anyone, however, the players will not be overawed by the occasion,” said Ireland chair of national men’s selectors, Andrew White. “I think we demonstrated the fight and talent we possess in the recent ODI against England at Malahide, and I expect the players will look to be just as competitive in the Test arena.

“We have stated all along that as selectors we are looking for players not only in form but displaying consistent performances, and I believe we have selected a squad that reflects this.

“It’s also a squad that balances experience and emerging talent, which is necessary in looking to the future in this format of the game.

“This may only be our third Test, but we have 11 more to play over the next three years and our two Tests to date have shown glimpses of the potential we possess.

“We often say that this is a team in transition, but recent performances at home give us great optimism that we are on the right path and will come to Lord’s with confidence and belief.

“We would like to thank Middlesex Cricket for finding room in their schedule to play a warm-up game and Merchant Taylors School, and hope Irish cricket fans – home-based and ex-pat alike – come out to turn Lord’s green and support the boys in that distinctly Irish style.”

Graham Ford’s squad will prepare for Lord’s by playing a two-day game against Middlesex second XI from July 18-19.

Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

Ireland’s preparations for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in August will feature fixtures against England from July 16-18.

The Somerset games with England Women’s Academy serve as replacements in the aftermath of the recent Zimbabwe cancellation.

IRELAND: Laura Delany (captain), Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Hannah Little, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Lara Maritz, Naomi Matthews, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Una Raymond-Hoey, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.