Cricket Ireland annouce squad to play Sussex 2nd XI
Cricket Ireland this morning announced a squad of 12 for the three day game with Sussex 2nd XI to be played at Chichester between June 8-10.
Six of the squad have represented Ireland at senior level, including Andre Botha, who has played 132 times for Ireland. The others with senior experience are John Mooney, Phil Eaglestone, James Hall, Gary Kidd, and Andrew Poynter.
Instonians wicket-keeper batsman Rory McCann is given his chance behind the stumps in preference to Malahide's Fintan McAllister, and there are call ups for The Hills off-spinning all-rounder Albert van der Merwe, and Brigade opening batsman Niall McDonnell, who has been in prolific form over the past year.
Ireland senior coach Phil Simmons explained the selection policy:"I wanted to give Andre (Botha) the opportunity to get some practice ahead of the Australia game next month, and he will lead the side. I had planned to have Jeremy Bray on the field, but with both Andre and John Mooney playing, there is enough experience in the side, so Jeremy will only be there in a coaching capacity.Rory McCann impressed at the ICC Europe Academy in India, and has been scoring a lot of runs in the NCU, so he deserves a chance.
"Niall McDonnell has been in great form with Brigade this season, and also Strabane last year, while Albert van der Merwe is another who warrants inclusion given his all-round capabilities. We have several players unavailable - both Shane Getkate and George Dockrell have examinations, while Nigel Jones has work commitments."
The Ireland A squad in full is as follows:
• Andre Botha (Captain) (North County)
• Chris Dougherty (Brigade)
• Phil Eaglestone (Strabane)
• James Hall (Waringstown)
• Gary Kidd (Waringstown)
• Rory McCann (Instonians)
• Niall McDonnell (Brigade)
• John Mooney (North County)
• Andrew Poynter (Clontarf)
• Eddie Richardson (North County)
• Albert Van der Merwe (The Hills)
• Craig Young (Bready/Sussex)
• Adi Birrell (Coach)
• Gavin Craig (Manager)
• Peter Johnston (Assistant coach/video analyst)
• Jeremy Bray (Assistant coach)