Ireland name squad for tour of Australia and New Zealand
Mon, Sep 15, 2014 1:32 PM
Cricket Ireland have unveiled a squad of 18 for their month long acclimatisation training camp which departs for Australia and New Zealand next Tuesday (September 23).
Alex Cusack is included along with Peter Chase, although there are no places for Eddie Richardson, Graeme McCarter or John Anderson.
"Alex Cusack has been one of our best limited overs bowlers in the last six years," said Cricket Ireland head coach Phil Simmons. "Although he's been out of competitive action since early May the plan was always to take him on tour as long as he had recovered from injury.
"He has been in a long period of rehabilitation and is fit to train now. He will be back training and bowling this week and part of his continued rehabilitation will be in Australia with the hope he is able to play towards the latter half of the tour in New Zealand," continued Simmons.
"Alex has been injured before tournaments in the past but topped our bowling averages, so the selectors feel given his past record he deserves the chance to prove he can be fit for the World Cup, and this is the only tour before the final squad of 15 is selected in early December."
On the players who weren't selected for the tour, Simmons added: "Eddie Richardson and Graeme McCarter were unlucky to miss out and were very close to selection along with John Anderson. There are a lot of bowlers in the squad who are very similar to Graeme and Eddie and the selectors felt we needed something different.
"We've opted for Peter Chase who with his height and pace gives us some variety in the seam bowling department. We've seen just how effective he can be with his performances in the County Championship with Durham in recent weeks."
Cricket Ireland have also excused Sussex captain Ed Joyce from the trip, with Performance Director Richard Holdsworth explaining: "Ed has had a number of niggling injuries over the summer as well as a long-term degenerative hip which he has been managing well for some years with the support of medical staff at both Sussex CCC and Cricket Ireland.
"Ed is 36 years old now and if he is to continue to play at the highest level we need to carefully manage his programme, therefore both Ed and ourselves have decided it is best for him to rest and recover from the season for a good period to ensure he's revitalised for the World Cup."
Ireland will play a total of eight matches on the tour - four apiece in Australia and New Zealand, with Holdsworth explaining how the trip had been been made possible: "It's an excellent programme of fixtures which will serve as excellent preparation for early next year. We're extremely grateful to ICC and their High Performance Manager Richard Done for his assistance in organising the tour.
"There will be two games apiece against Queensland Bulls and New South Wales Second XI in Australia, before matches in New Zealand against Northern Districts, a New Zealand XI, Canterbury and Otago."
William Porterfield (capt), (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), Peter Chase (Durham), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset) , John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Leicestershire), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Stuart Poynter (Durham), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton) , Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).
30th September, Ireland v The Bulls, Kerrydale Oval , Gold Coast, 10am
2nd October, Ireland v The Bulls, Redlands Oval, Brisbane, 10am
7th October Ireland v NSW 2XI, ManukaOval, Canberra , 10am or 2pm TBC
9th October Ireland v NSW 2XI, ManukaOval, Canberra, 10am or 2pm TBC
16th October, Ireland v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 2pm D/N
18th October, Ireland v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 2pm D/N
21st October, Ireland v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch, 10.30am
23rd Oct, Ireland v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch, 10.00am