Ireland A take on MCC at Lord's today

Mon, Apr 23, 2012 2:18 PM

James Shannon will captain Ireland A for the first time as a 12 man squad heads to Lord's today to take on MCC. The 22 year old Instonians batsman is relishing the added responsibility of the captaincy .

"It is a great honour and privilege to firstly be selected, and secondly captain such a strong A side at the start of the 2012 season. It is a fantastic opportunity being part of the squad, and to be playing at Lords against the MCC."

Shannon has to date played 16 times for the A side and impressed with a brilliant 123 against Sussex 2nd XI last August, which saw him drafted into the senior squad for the Intercontinental Cup games with Namibia and Canada. He was also one of four reserves named for the recent ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE.

Shannon's Instonians team mate Rory McCann has been named as wicket-keeper, while the others who have represented the senior team are opening bowlers Graeme McCarter and Peter Connell.

Connell, one of only three men ever to take a hat-trick for Ireland, won the last of his 56 caps back in June 2010, and will be keen to impress Phil Simmons, who is taking charge of the A team for the game.
With the RSA Challenge against Australia at Stormont in June, and the prospect of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September, Simmons is keen to get a closer look at the fringe players hoping to break into the senior side.

The squad in full is as follows:
James Shannon (Instonians) (Captain), Ben Ackland (Merrion), John Anderson (Merrion), Peter Connell (CIYMS), Tom Fisher (Railway Union), Rory McCann (Instonians), Graeme McCarter (Fox Lodge), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Niall McDonnell (Strabane), Lee Nelson (Waringstown), Stuart Thompson (Limavady), Ben Wylie (Instonians).

Additional Ireland A fixtures for 2012 are as follows:
May: Ireland A v Kent, Ireland A v Gloucestershire
June: Ireland A v Scotland A, Ireland A v Afghanistan (tbc)
July: Ireland A v Durham.

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