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Cricket Ireland annouce squad for Zimbabwe trip

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 4:47 PM


Cricket Ireland have announced their squad for their forthcoming trip to Zimbabwe. Coach Phil Simmons has named a squad of 14 for their Intercontinental Cup tie against a Zimbabwe XI, which is followed by three ODI's against the full Zimbabwe team.

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 subcontinent 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's still a few places up for grabs."

There was good news for Ireland in the latest ICC Reliance Mobile rankings. Trent Johnston has climbed up to 20th place - the highest ranked Associate bowler - while Paul Stirling is in 37th place overall in the batting, following his epic 177 in Ireland's second ODI against Canada.

The squad in full is as follows:

•William Porterfield (captain) (Gloucestershire)
•Andre Botha (North County)
•George Dockrell (Leinster)
•Allan Eastwood (Pembroke)
•Trent Johnston (Railway Union)
•Nigel Jones (CSN)
•John Mooney (North County)
•Kevin O`Brien (Railway Union)
•Niall O`Brien (Northants)
•Andrew Poynter (Clontarf)
•Paul Stirling (Middlesex)
•Albert Van De Merwe (The Hills)
•Andrew White (Instonians)
•Gary Wilson (Surrey)

Management:

•Phil Simmons (Coach)
•Peter Johnston (Asst. coach/video analyst)
•Roy Torrens (Manager)
•Kieran O’Reilly (Physio)
•Brendan Maloney (Strength & Conditioning coach)

The fixtures are as follows:

•Ireland v Zimbabwe XI, ICup, Harare, Sept 20-23
•Ireland v Zimbabwe, 3 ODI's, Harare, Sept 26, 28 and 30.



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