9 July 2010

Cricket Ireland this morning announced their squads for both the RSA Series against Bangladesh and the European Championships.

Coach Phil Simmons has named 12 players for the one-day internationals at Stormont next week, with William Porterfield returning from county duty to captain the side.

He is joined by fellow county stars Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin and Gary Wilson as Ireland prepare for arguably their most important two games of the year.

The only changes from the squad which performed so well last month against Australia are the inclusion of George Dockrell and Andrew Poynter, who replace Gary Kidd and Peter Connell.

Simmons is pleased to have more or less his first choice team available for the games: “It’s more or less as strong a squad as we could wish to have. We’re still missing Andre Botha with a back injury, and of course Regan West who has been out all summer. The players know just how vital  these games are from a number of viewpoints.

“There are crucial ranking points at stake as we attempt to claim the ODI table, and it’s a good benchmark for us to play the teams close to us. We’re looking for  a regular diet of international cricket, and good performances in this RSA series can only help us achieve that.

“We’ve performed well against Bangladesh in the last two World Cups, beating them in Barbados in 2007, and again last year at Trent Bridge in the Twenty20. On our own patch and conditions, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

Andrew Poynter will fly to Jersey immediately after the two games to captain Ireland A as they participate in the European Championships taking place in Jersey from July 13-19.

Jeremy Bray is the player/coach of a relatively inexperienced Ireland side, while Albert van der Merwe will skipper the side until Poynter’s arrival.

Nigel Jones misses the tournament due to work commitments, while Phil Eaglestone (side strain) is injured.

Seven of the squad played for Ireland in this year’s Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Phil Simmons said of the squad: “It’s an important competition as it gives the players a chance to claim a spot in the squad for the World Cup next year. There are places on the plane to be had, and it’s up to the guys to show me what they can do. They know what a great opportunity this tournament offers them.

“I’ll be travelling to Jersey after the Bangladesh games so I can see first hand just what they have to offer in match situations. Andrew Poynter has scored half centuries in recent games against West Indies A and Afghanistan. He has a good cricketing brain and is always thinking about the game. I think he’s got real leadership qualities and will do a good job. Albert (Van der Merwe) will skipper the side until Andrew arrives, and we have Jeremy Bray there – he will coach the squad and play when we fell it’s needed. The players can’t help but learn from such an experienced international player.”

The squads in full are as follows:

RSA Series versus Bangladesh – Stormont – July 15 and 16 at 10:45am. Tickets for the game are available at or at the gate on the day of the games.

Ticket Prices: Bangladesh –

*      1 match: Two match deal:

*      Adult - £20 Adult - £35

*      OAP - £15 OAP - £25

*      U16 - £3 U16 - £5

*      Member - £16 Member - £27

William Porterfield (Captain) (Gloucestershire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Leinster), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), John Mooney (North County), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Northants), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

A squad for European Championships – Jersey – July 13-19

Andrew Poynter (Captain) (Clontarf), Jeremy Bray (player-coach), (The Hills), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Jordan Coghlan (Clontarf), Shane Getkate (Malahide), James Hall (Waringstown), Gary Kidd (Waringstown), Rory McCann (w/k) (Instonians), Graham McDonnell (Railway Union), Niall McDonnell (Brigade), James Shannon (Instonians), Stuart Thompson (Limavady), Albert van der Merwe (v/c) (The Hills), Craig Young (Bready/Sussex).

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