Ireland announces final squad for World Cup
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. 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.
“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 16.
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). Courtesy ICC