Porterfield back to lead Ireland
Mon, Sep 13, 2010 8:33 PM
Paul Stirling was successful on the recent Canada tour
Cricket Ireland on Monday announced their squad for their forthcoming trip to Zimbabwe.
Coach Phil Simmons named a squad of 14 for the ICC Intercontinental Cup tie against a Zimbabwe XI (20-23 September), which is followed by three one-day internationals against the full Zimbabwe team (September 26, 28, 30).
Ireland are boosted by the availability of three of their county players who missed the trip to Canada - Niall O'Brien returns after surgery on his finger, and captain William Porterfield and Gary Wilson are both released to play in the full tour.
Boyd Rankin is sidelined with a reoccurrence of his foot injury, while Alex Cusack is also recuperating following surgery on his leg muscles. Both hope to be back in the Ireland reckoning for a planned trip to the sub-continent before the end of the year.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "It's an important trip for a variety of reasons. We're currently ranked 10th in the world above Zimbabwe, and we want to not only keep our position but close in on, and possibly overhaul Bangladesh.
"We haven't given up hope of still qualifying for the final of the Intercontinental Cup. A full points win would keep us in with a chance, so we'll be striving all out to achieve that.
"The World Cup is now only five months away, and for the fringe players these fixtures represent a mammoth opportunity to convince me and the selectors that they should be on the plane to Bangladesh and India. I hope that they take their chance and make a name for themselves.I have most of the squad in my mind, but there are still a few places up for grabs."
Team: William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, George Dockrell, Allan Eastwood, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, John Mooney, Kevin O`Brien, Niall O`Brien, Andrew Poynter, Paul Stirling, Albert Van De Merwe, Andrew White, Gary Wilson; Management: Phil Simmons (Coach), Peter Johnston (Asst. coach/video analyst) , Roy Torrens (Manager), Kieran O’Reilly (Physio), Brendan Maloney (Strength & Conditioning coach)