Ireland will go to the West Indies to play three ODIs and as many T20Is next month with a relatively young side. The squad, led by Andrew Balbirnie, who recently took over the T20I captaincy from Gary Wilson, now features 14 players instead of 15. Josh Little and Barry McCarthy have been brought back while the likes of Shane Getkate, David Delany and Stuart Thompson have been omitted.
The last time Ireland took part in T20Is was in a tri-series in September also featuring the Netherlands and Scotland. They won the series by beating Scotland by one run in the final match. Against the West Indies, Ireland haven’t played many T20Is. Since 2010, the two sides have taken part in four matches with the Caribbeans having a 2-1 lead while one game remained inconclusive.
The ODI squad that Ireland picked also saw quite a few changes with the likes of Getkate, Tyrone Kane, Tim Murtagh making way for players like Craig Young and McCarthy and Gareth Delany, who is yet to make his debut. The Irish played their last ODI in July when they thumped Zimbabwe 3-0 at home.
Ireland look forward to 2020
“The Caribbean tour will be the start of a quite intensive year for the senior men’s team – we have tours before the start of the home season, hosting several full members in the summer, commence our participation in the ICC World Cup ODI Super League, including playing an ODI series against England, and then head to a T20 World Cup in October,” Ireland’s head coach Graham Ford was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“These matches will be the first under Andrew Balbirnie’s leadership, so will be a great first-up challenge for him and one which I know he is looking forward to,” he further said. He added that though Ireland and the West Indies have grown a rivalry in recent times, the Caribbeans are quite a force in their den.
Ireland will play just one side game in the tour which is a 50-over match scheduled on January 4. Ford said that leaves very little time for the Ireland players to adapt to the conditions and play good cricket. He said the squads that have been picked have a blend of youth and experience and said they are looking forward to building on that in 2020. While the West Indies are ranked 10th in the ICC T20Is list, Ireland are ranked 14th.
Ireland T20I squad: Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Kevin O’Brien, Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Gary Wilson, Harry Tector, Josh Little, Paul Stirling, Barry McCarthy, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young
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