DUBLIN: Cricket Ireland on Wednesday, have named a strong 15-member squad for the crucial 10-team 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe next month.
Andrew Balbirnie will lead a strong Ireland side, abundant with pacers, in the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, from which two teams would make it to the main event in India later in the year.
The Qualifier begins from June 18 and will see ten teams, including West Indies and Sri Lanka, competing for two places.
The Ireland squad has several pace options in Mark Adair, Josh Little, Craig Young, Barry McCarthy, Graham Hume and Curtis Campher. But considering the conditions, they have also opted to go with Ben White, who recently made his Test debut in Bangladesh.
“We’re heading into a big few months and it’s looking at what personnel we need from a tactical point of view, who are in form, and a squad composition that suits the conditions we are likely to face,” Andrew White, the Ireland men’s team selector, said.
“In the latter stages of the tournament, for example, we are likely to be playing on used pitches, so that’s where we see the value of a Ben White coming to the fore.”
“But before we look too far ahead, we have to start well and we’ve put together what we think is our best squad to meet that challenge. With a seam attack of Adair, Little, Young, McCarthy, Hume and Campher we feel we’re heading towards our best attack once more, while PJ Moor’s experience in Zimbabwean conditions and his versatility batting anywhere from 1 to 7 gives us great cover.”
Moor has already played Test cricket for Ireland since his move from Zimbabwe, but is yet to play ODIs for them with his last international fifty-over match coming in 2019 for Zimbabwe.
Stephen Doheny misses out on the squad after recently playing in the series against Zimbabwe earlier in the year.
“Qualifier events are tough, cut-throat competitions at times and a balance of talent, form and experience is essential,” White stressed.
“We believe we have achieved that and I know that Irish supporters will be right behind the players and staff in their quest for World Cup qualification.”
Ireland squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, PJ Moor, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.