Ireland name strong squad for T20 World Cup
Balbirnie will spearhead Ireland's assault on the four-week tournament as he was announced to captain an experienced squad that includes a good mix of talented veterans and promising youngsters.
Opener Paul Stirling, key all-rounder George Dockrell and Balbirnie provide the experience in the 15-member squad, while star batter Harry Tector and consistent pacer Mark Adair put the polish on a well-balanced outfit.
There will be no veteran batter Kevin O'Brien, who was omitted from the squad that competed in the Qualifier, before announcing his retirement from all forms of international cricket last month.
“It’s an exciting time for Irish cricket as we embark on another major global tournament. Over the last year we have been building a solid core squad, while creating more depth in our T20 cricket. I think fans have started to see the positive strides the players have been making in this format – especially with the series win over Afghanistan - and we hope we can take this momentum into the tournament in Australia," said Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors.
"One of the most considered decisions we had to make was around our spin bowling options. With George Dockrell and Gareth Delany both having an impact this summer and the variation they bring to the attack, it came down to making a choice between Simi Singh and Andy McBrine. Andy can feel very unfortunate to have missed out this time, but we believe Simi offers more variation on Australian wickets with his ability to take the ball away from both right and left handers.
“We believe this is one of the strongest T20 squads we have sent to a World Cup and wish the team and coaching staff well for the tournament ahead."
Ireland will need to negotiate their way through a tricky group in the first round of the T20 World Cup, with their opening match coming up against Zimbabwe at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on 17 October.
They then take on fellow European side Scotland and Caribbean giant West Indies at the same venue, with the top two teams from the group progressing through to the Super 12 stage of the event.
Ireland T20 World Cup squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
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