The Irish Cricket Union this morning announced a 12 man squad for their Friends Provident game with Kent, which takes place at Stomont in Belfast this Sunday. The selectors have kept faith with the players which have served them so well during the World Cup campaign. Indeed all twelve of the squad were on duty in the Caribbean.
The players missing from the World Cup fifteen are opening bowler Boyd Rankin, and batsman Eoin Morgan, who are both required by their respective counties, Derbyshire and Middlesex. The other absentee is Paul Mooney, who announced his retirement from international cricket at the conclusion of the competition.
As yet Ireland haven't been able to confirm the signings of any overseas players, although negotiations are still ongoing. While it is unlikely that any will be available for this weekend, the Union haven't ruled out that possibility, and have left open the option of adding to their squad.
New Ireland coach Phil Simmons said of the selection, " I got the opportunity to work with the team for 6 weeks during the World Cup, so I know what they are capable of. I have total faith in the players, and I'm confident we will continue to do well in the Friends Provident Trophy."
Stephen Kirkpatrick, Head of Banking, Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland, the official team sponsor, said, "This has been a fantastic few months for Irish cricket, and we are confident that this squad is capable of even more success in the Friends Provident Trophy. I wish new coach Phil Simmons all the very best as he takes over at the helm from Adrian Birrell."
The squad in full is as follows:
· Trent Johnston (23) (Railway Union) Captain
· Andre Botha (21) (North County)
· Jeremy Bray (03)(Eglinton)
· Kenny Carroll (26) (Railway Union)
· Peter Gillespie (05) (Strabane)
· David Langford-Smith (76) (Phoenix)
· John Mooney (10) (North County)
· Kyle Mc Callan (07) (Waringstown)
· Kevin O' Brien (22) (Railway Union)
· Niall O' Brien (00) (Northants)
· William Porterfield (34) (Donemana)
· Andrew White (12) (Instonians)
The game with Kent begins at 10:45 am, and tickets are priced at £10 and £5 (concession).