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Alex Cusack Returns To Ireland Squad

Ireland celebrate a wicket
Ireland have named an 18-man squad to head to Australia and New Zealand
©International Cricket Council
 

Ireland have named an 18-man squad which will tour Australia and New Zealand as part of their preparation for next year's Cricket World Cup.

Alex Cusack returns to the squad but John Anderson, Graeme McCarter and Eddie Richardson are among those missing out.

Ireland in Australia/New Zealand

30th September: Queensland Bulls v Ireland, Gold Coast
2nd October: Queensland Bulls v Ireland, Brisbane
7th October: Comets/New South Wales 2nd XI v Ireland, Manuka Oval, Canberra
9th October: Comets/New South Wales 2nd XI v Ireland, Manuka Oval, Canberra

16th October: Northern Districts v Ireland, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18th October: Northern Districts v Ireland, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21st October: Canterbury v Ireland, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23rd October: Otago v Ireland, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

All-rounder Cusack has been out of action since May but Ireland were keen to get him back into the squad now he is close to being fully fit again.

"Alex Cusack has been one of our best limited overs bowlers in the last six years," Cricket Ireland head coach Phil Simmons said.

"Although he’s been out of competitive action since early May the plan was always to take him on tour as long as he had recovered from injury.

"He has been in a long period of rehabilitation and is fit to train now.  He will be back training and bowling this week and part of his continued rehabilitation will be in Australia with the hope he is able to play towards the latter half of the tour in New Zealand," Simmons added.

Richardson has deputised for Cusack in the past but the selectors have left him and fellow quick bowler McCarter out, instead preferring the extra height of Peter Chase.

Chase has recently been in action for Durham, taking nine wickets in his first two games for them including a haul of five for 64 against Nottinghamshire in the LV= County Championship.

And although top-order batsman Anderson also misses out, Ed Joyce has been excused the trip as he manages a long-term degenerative hip problem as Ireland look to manage his workload to get him fully fit and prepared for the World Cup.

With William Porterfield, Paul Stirling and Niall O'Brien all available, Ireland have plenty of batting cover.

Ireland will play four matches in Australia and four in New Zealand during the trip.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

© Cricket World 2014