Cricket Ireland on Thursday, November 25, named the T20I squad and the ODI upcoming Ireland Men’s multi-format white-ball tour of the USA and West Indies next month.
For the One-Day Internationals against the USA in December and the World Cup Super League series against the West Indies in January, a 15-player team has been picked. After making his T20I debut against South Africa in July, leg-spinner Ben White has been called up to the ODI team for the first time.
Josh Little, who has been freed to play in the Lanka Premier League, will miss the USA series after being picked in a 15-player team for the T20 Internationals against the USA and West Indies. Little will join the travelling party before the ODI series against the United States, then stay with the Irish team for the balance of the tour.
“The selectors have had to make some tough decisions as we look to move the men’s squad forward, particularly in the T20 format – however, what has influenced our thinking behind some key selection decisions is the proximity to the T20 World Cup Qualifier in early 2022,” said Andrew White, the Chair of National Men’s Selectors of Cricket Ireland.
“We had hoped that we could have avoided the need to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup through advancing to the Super 12 stage of the last tournament, but our early exit means that our transition and succession planning horizons have been shortened somewhat. The USA and West Indies tour has taken on a greater sense of importance – and indeed, a greater sense of urgency regarding some of the tactical changes we need to consider.
“One of the hardest selection calls has been to omit Kevin O’Brien from this tour. Kevin has been an instrumental part of our senior squads for many years and played a key role at the top of the order in the T20 format in recent years. However, with the T20 World Cup Qualifier just around the corner, the Selectors want to try a different dynamic at the top of the order, and enable greater power-hitting potential in the middle order.
“The statistics don’t lie – in T20Is we have had a problem for a while now with boundary and six-hitting – particularly outside the powerplay overs. We see the way that the best sides can accelerate their scoring rates and access the boundaries during the latter overs of an innings, and we have lacked that in recent times. It also goes without saying, but an ability to clear the ropes is also an area we have to try and address, and as such we have brought William McClintock and Shane Getkate back into the reckoning to add firepower to the middle order. We will also re-jig the batting order at the top, with Andrew Balbirnie to partner with Paul Stirling as an opening pair.
“The selection of Ben White for the ODI squad shows a vote of confidence in the young leg-spinner’s talent, and we see him adding variation for Andrew Balbirnie to call on.”
T20I squad for USA and West Indies: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little*, Barry McCarthy, William McClintock, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.
ODI squad for USA and West Indies: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Josh Little*, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, William Porterfield, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.
* Josh Little will join the touring team ahead of the ODI series against the United States
The fixtures for the West Indies tour of Ireland will be announced in due course.
Ireland vs USA Fixtures:
December 20: T20 Warm-up match (details TBC)
December 22: USA v Ireland – 1st T20I (Florida; start 2 pm local time)
December 23: USA v Ireland – 2nd T20I (Florida; start 7 pm local time) D/N
December 26: USA v Ireland – 1st ODI (Florida; start 10 am local time)
December 28: USA v Ireland – 2nd ODI (Florida; start 2.30 pm local time) D/N
December 30: USA v Ireland – 3rd ODI (Florida; start 2.30 pm local time) D/N