ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Ireland - Team Preview

William Porterfield will look to lead from the front
William Porterfield will look to lead from the front
©REUTERS
 

The presence of Ireland in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 further lightens up the competition and they will be looking to build upon a fantastic 2017 year where they were granted the Test status by the International Cricket Council.

They had all the right preparations leading into the tournament after ending the tri-series in United Arab Emirates undefeated and also clinched a 2-1 series win over tournament favourites Afghanistan in Sharjah. Their warm-up game against Zimbabwe ended in no result but they did manage to edge out Scotland by two wickets riding on fabulous performances from Andy Balbirnie and George Dockrell.

Kevin O'Brien and Simi Singh will provide the all-round flexibility while the batting looks promising with William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien and Balbirnie. The return of Boyd Rankin and emergence of young talents Peter Chase and Barry McCarthy will keep them in good stead.

Group: Ireland are grouped along with Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and West Indies.

Fixtures:

v Scotland, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, 1st March
v Netherlands, Old Hararians, Harare, 4th March
v Papua New Guinea, Harare Sports Club, 6th March
v West Indies, Harare Sports Club, 10th March

Squad:

William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson

© Cricket World 2018