Ireland have named their 15-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 which takes place in England later this year.
18-year-old batsman Paul Stirling joins a squad made up largely of experienced players, with Stirling effectively replacing Eoin Morgan, who was picked to represent England in the same tournament.
Coach Phil Simmons explained the rationale behind Stirling's selection:
“Paul has been in such good form in the Friends Provident Trophy, with two exceptional knocks. It’s not just been the fact that he’s scored runs, but the manner in which he has played. He’s been confident, powerful and dominant. It’s hard to believe that innings of such maturity come from one so young. He looks the part and has a great attitude to the game which will stand him in good stead in years to come.
“Andre [Botha] will undergo rigorous testing on his ankle in 2-3 weeks time, and we’ll make a final decision then. He definitely won’t bowl in the tournament, but I’d be very confident he can play a major role with the bat. We have struggled a bit with the ball in the current Friends Provident campaign, but we’ll have a lot of experience coming back in Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack, as well as big Boyd (Rankin).”
Ireland take on Bangladesh and India in Group A and the tournament begins on 5th June.
Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Botha, Jeremy Bray, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Regan West, Andrew White, Gary Wilson
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