Ireland Name Experienced World Cup Squad
Ireland have included nine of the players that starred in the 2007 World Cup in their 2011 World Cup squad, as well as opening batsman Ed Joyce following his qualification to play for the country of his birth for a second time.
Joyce, who has been given special dispensation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to represent Ireland, played for England at the 2007 event.
Similarly, Eoin Morgan represented Ireland in 2007 but has been named in England's squad for the 2011 tournament, which gets underway on 19th February. Ireland meet England on 2nd March in a group game in Bangalore.
"I like the balance of the squad," coach Phil Simmons said. "As with most Irish teams of the past few years, there are quite a few all-rounders, and that gives us plenty of options in all departments. This squad contains a lot of experience with nine having played in the 2007 competition – I am sure that is more than most teams. What is different this time from 2007 is that 13 of the 15 earn their living from cricket - that's practically a full time squad. It makes such a difference having the guys full-time, and that is thanks to our team sponsor RSA Insurance, with whose support we have been able to offer the players who aren't with English counties contracts with Cricket Ireland. We were also able to spend a month in India acclimatising, and that will stand us in good stead.
"The squad all know the importance of this tournament and I'm certain we will acquit ourselves well. We may have lost the surprise factor, but we have earned the respect of the cricketing world through our efforts. We've reached the Super Eight phase of both the World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 - there's no reason why we can't make the latter stages yet again."
Captain William Porterfield added: "We've been waiting for this time to come around now for a while and I know the squad are just looking forward to getting out to Dubai and on to India and Bangladesh. There has been a lot of hard work put in over the past few weeks and months and being in India in November for the training has really helped the lads in getting to where they want to be. This was helped and aided by the generous support that RSA have shown to us, not just over the last few months, but since they have been on board."
Ireland leave for a training camp in Dubai on 28th January, while they play warm-up games against New Zealand and Zimbabwe in Nagpur.
They open their campaign against Bangladesh in Dhaka on 25th February, also playing England, India, the Netherlands, South Africa and the West Indies in Group B.
Ireland World Cup squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson, Andrew White
© Cricket World 2011