Ireland have named their preliminary squad for the 2011 World Cup to be held in the Indian subcontinent from 19th February, next year.
The initial list has 22 players identified by Coach Phil Simmons to be pruned to 15 by 19th January.
The initial squad also features Ed Joyce, granted a special dispensation by the ICC to participate in the tournament. It includes a good mix of seasoned and young players, with seven players currently attached to English counties, while eight have the experience of playing the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
Coach Phil Simmons exuded confidence about the squad, saying: “There are no surprises in the 22, as we’ve had a fairly settled squad this past year. Our training camp in India last month went well and it was fantastic preparation for the conditions, which we’ll be facing when the tournament starts. There’s a lot of experience in the squad, but that’s balanced by the fact we’ve got a few exciting youngsters as well. Both Paul Stirling and George Dockrell have turned in some great performances in 2010, and the World Cup will be a great stage for them.”
Regan West (shoulder) and Boyd Rankin (foot), are being monitored closely, recuperating from injuries.
“Boyd is bowling again and on track to be fully fit for the tournament. Regan is working hard after his shoulder operations, and will undergo a final fitness assessment before the final squad is announced – we’re still hopeful that he’ll make it,” stated Simmons.
Ireland will fly for Dubai in January for a pre-World Cup training camp, and play warm-up matches against New Zealand and Zimbabwe in Nagpur before their first game in the competition proper against Bangladesh in Dhaka on 25th February.
Ireland are grouped along side Bangladesh, India, England, the Netherlands, South Africa and West Indies.
Ireland preliminary World Cup squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Phil Eaglestone, Allan Eastwood, James Hall, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, Rory McCann, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Regan West, Gary Wilson, Andrew White, Craig Young
© Cricket World 2010