Ireland have named a 12-man squad to take on Bangladesh in two One-Day Internationals in Belfast next week which includes county professionals William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin and Gary Wilson.
The addition of those for players should, in coach Phil Simmons' view, allow Ireland to continue to compete well against a team they have performed well against on neutral territory before.
“There are crucial ranking points at stake as we attempt to claim the ODI table, and it’s a good benchmark for us to play the teams close to us," he said.
"We’re looking for a regular diet of international cricket, and good performances in this RSA series can only help us achieve that.
“We’ve performed well against Bangladesh in the last two World Cups, beating them in Barbados in 2007, and again last year at Trent Bridge in the Twenty20. On our own patch and conditions, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”
Also returning to the squad having missed out on the match against Australia, which they lost by 39 runs but not before giving their tourists a scare or two, are George Dockrell and Andrew Poynter as Gary Kidd and Peter Connell miss out.
Ireland wll also be without long-term absentees Andre Botha and Regan West while Poynter will leave for Jersey immediately after the two matches on 15th/16th July to captain the 'A' side in a European Championship event.
Albert van der Merwe will skipper the side until Poynter's arrival.
“It’s an important competition as it gives the players a chance to claim a spot in the squad for the World Cup next year. There are places on the plane to be had, and it’s up to the guys to show me what they can do. They know what a great opportunity this tournament offers them," Simmons added.
“I’ll be travelling to Jersey after the Bangladesh games so I can see first hand just what they have to offer in match situations. Andrew Poynter has scored half centuries in recent games against West Indies A and Afghanistan. He has a good cricketing brain and is always thinking about the game. I think he’s got real leadership qualities and will do a good job. Albert (Van der Merwe) will skipper the side until Andrew arrives, and we have Jeremy Bray there – he will coach the squad and play when we fell it’s needed. The players can’t help but learn from such an experienced international player.”
Ireland squad to play Bangladesh: William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson
Ireland A squad to play in the European Championships: Andrew Poynter (captain), Albert van der Merwe (vice-captain), Jeremy Bray (player/coach), Andrew Balbirnie, Jordan Coghlan, Shane Getkate, James Hall, Gary Kidd, Rory McCann, Graham McDonnell, Niall McDonnell, James Shannon, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young
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