Ireland have named uncapped all-rounder Eddie Richardson in their squad for next month’s One-Day International against England in Dublin.
The 23-year-old is the only new face in an otherwise familiar 13-man squad which includes seven county-based players as well as eight who have passed the 100-cap mark in a green jersey.
Richardson, who is a cousin of John Mooney, has excelled with both bat and ball for club and the Leinster Lightning in the newly formed interprovincial series and replaces the injured Alex Cusack in the experienced squad.
"It’s a dream come true for me really. I can’t wait to pull on an Irish jersey," he said.
"I’ve worked really hard on my game, especially over the last two years and it’s fantastic that the selectors have rewarded this with senior recognition."
The North County all-rounder has represented Ireland at all under-age levels and has scored nearly 800 runs this season so far as well as taking 39 wickets.
"The difference this season is that I’ve been scoring runs as well as taking wickets. I’ve been bowling decently this past few years but to get into the Ireland team you have to be doing both, as it’s got so many talented all-rounders." he added.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said Richardson fully deserved his opportunity: "He's been very consistent at all levels and the selectors were especially impressed by his form in the RSA Inter-Provincial Series. His volume of runs and wickets has warranted selection.
"Eddie is a great advertisement for all Irish youngsters. He's shown that if you put in the hard yards there will be rewards."
Warwickshire batsman William Porterfield will be hoping to put a disappointing season with the bat behind him when he captains the home side at the new international venue on September 3rd while Kevin O’Brien is also included fresh from playing in the Caribbean Premier League.
Simmons admitted there's a great deal of anticipation building in the Irish camp ahead of the blue riband game of the summer:
"It's certain to be a fantastic atmosphere at Malahide, given that nearly 8,000 tickets have already gone. The players can't wait to play at the new venue, and with England as the opponents, there's always that little extra edge which you get when playing a 'local derby' so to speak.
"It would be something special for the team to give the fans another famous win, which is certainly possible with the talent we have in our ranks."
Cricket Ireland are advising fans to purchase their tickets for the game immediately as the fixture is on course for a sell-out. Tickets for the RSA Challenge are available at www.cricketireland.ie or at TicketMasterwww.ticketmaster.ie
Ireland ODI squad: William Porterfield (captain) (Warwickshire), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), Eddie Richardson (North County), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).
© Cricket World 2013