Cricket Ireland has announced their squad for the upcoming 2 T20 Internationals to be played against India next week. The matches are very important for the eleventh full member with Test status, as they continue to strive for their ambition of making cricket a major sport in the country and hosting the most popular cricket team for a series reflects that.
The home team struggled against Netherlands and Scotland in a triangular series recently and hence has made a few changes for the all-important matches. Off-spinner Andy McBrine and left-arm fast bowler Joshua Little have been added in the squad to replace Barry McCarthy and Craig Young, who were part of the team against the European rivals.
The 18-year-old Joshua has awarded for his good form in the domestic T20 competition. McBrine, too, has been rewarded for his performances in the Inter-Provincial T20 with a call-up against India.
Andrew White, Chairman of National Men's Selectors for Cricket Ireland, was quoted saying about the squad as, "The selectors have chosen what we believe to be a strong, in-form squad for this format of the game that balances experience with youth, Our deliberations were around finding a side that was competitive now, but with an eye to the future"
"Many in the squad will be either traveling to Sussex this weekend for the Ed Joyce Testimonial match on Sunday or will be re-joining the senior squad from their English County sides. We had a good look at a number of players on the recent Tri-Series in the Netherlands and this weekend's match in Sussex will firm up the decisions made on the final playing eleven for the first fixture on Wednesday."
"We will continue our approach of providing opportunities for a wider pool of players to gain experience in T20 cricket on the international stage. With around 12 months to go to the World T20 Cup qualifiers, we are looking to build a competitive squad for that qualification stage and hopefully to propel us into the main tournament in 2020,"
The 2 T20 Internationals will be played in Malahide on June 27 and June 29.
Gary Wilson (c), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)