THE Ireland T20 squad that qualified for next year’s World Cup remains in pole position to take part in the tournament after all but one of the 15 players were named for next month’s tour of Zimbabwe.
Ben White is the absentee but he was due to be in the Ireland Emerging squad that is facing West Indies Under 23s in three One-day games and two four-day games on a tour which concludes just two days before Ireland’s first T20I in Harare. The Phoenix leg spinner had to withdraw because of injury.
Theo van Woerkom, the CIYMS slow left armer, was a late call-up for the qualifiers in Edinburgh because of an injury to Gareth Delany and although he didn’t play any of the five games he retains his place in the squad along with Delany.
Three T20Is start the Zimbabwe tour, the first an evening game under the lights, and they will be followed by three one-day internationals where Andy McBrine comes into a 14-man squad while Delany and Ross Adair, still considered a T20 specialist, drop out.
There is no place for Zimbabwean-born PJ Moor who despite playing in all four Test matches this year, has still to play any white-ball cricket for Ireland, although he is currently playing back home and the selectors are monitoring his performances.
Although the next 50-over World Cup is still four years away, Paul Stirling will be keen to stamp his own ideas on the squad in his first series as white-ball captain and getting back into the winning habit will be a priority after a disappointing 12 months in the ODI arena.
Chairman of selectors Andrew White was keen to stress that the 14 players in the Caribbean are playing for places in the senior squad and head coach Heinrich Malan will be there for the first four matches.
T20I Squad: P Stirling (capt), M Adair, R Adair, A Balbirnie, C Campher, G Delany, G Dockrell, G Hume, J Little, B McCarthy, N Rock, H Tector, L Tucker, T van Woerkom, C Young.
ODI Squad: as above except A McBrine for R Adair and Delany.
Fixtures – T20Is: December 7 (6pm), December 9, 10 (both 1pm); ODIs: December 13, 15 and 17 (all 9.15am).