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Ireland count on experience for World T20 campaign

Ireland count on experience for World T20 campaign
Boyd Rankin has returned to the Ireland squad.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Fast bowler Boyd Rankin has been named in the 15-man Ireland squad to take part in the 2016 World Twenty20 with William Porterfield leading an experienced side.

In December 2015, Rankin confirmed that he will return to play cricket for Ireland after having opted to represent England in 2013 and 2014.

Apart from Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson have all been included for their fifth World T20 tournament.

As many as 12 members of the current 15-man squad have taken part in the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh whereas Stuart Poynter and Andrew Balbirnie will play in the mega-event for the first time.

Ireland chairman of selectors, Alan Lewis is pleased with the return of Rankin and feels that the 31-year-old will add more balance to their side.

“We are really looking forward to this World Cup, particularly with the return of Boyd Rankin.

“He gives our attack so much more balance and potency, as seen in our InterContinental Cup win last week.”

Fast bowler Tim Murtagh had earlier announced his retirement from the T20 format in May 2015 but recently reversed his decision and was picked for the ongoing tour of the United Arab Emirates.

Lewis expressed his delight at Murtagh’s inclusion and is confident that the squad can qualify for the Super 10 stages of the competition.

“As such a consistent performer I am also delighted to see Tim Murtagh in the squad for an event like this particularly as he missed the 2015 World Cup is such disappointing circumstances.

“These are the events that players want to excel in so hopefully with the lead time involved and the energy the team always show we can emerge out on top of the group in the first phase.”

Ireland coach John Bracewell feels that the squad has a good balance of youth and experience and added that the team will be well prepared for the tournament with series against Papua New Guinea and UAE.

“The squad has got a real balance to it, with that blend of youth and experience that every coach likes. Ireland are now regular performers on the world stage so there's no fear or intimidation factors.

“Everyone has been given a real boost by the return of Boyd Rankin, and Tim Murtagh's rethink on retirement in this format.

“Porty (Porterfield) has plenty of options with the ball as so many of the squad are genuine all-rounders.

“We will be well prepared for the competition, as we're currently playing Papua New Guinea, will take on the UAE later this week, and will be India for a training camp ahead of the competition.

“It's another great chance for the squad to showcase Irish cricket to a global audience, and the guys are determined to prove they belong at the top level of the sport.”

Ireland will play alongside Netherlands, Oman and Bangladesh in the qualifying rounds and will aim to top the group in order to proceed for the Super 10 round.

Ireland squad for World T20:

William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

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