Ireland Name Squad For ICC WT20 Qualifier
Ireland have named their 14-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier which takes place in the United Arab Emirates in March.
The squad shows just three changes from that which famously upset England during the 2011 World Cup as Rory McCann replaces Niall O'Brien, Max Sorensen is also selected and Andre Botha has retired.
Despite Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh gaining an Irish passport in time for the tournament, he, along with Albert van der Merwe and Stuart Poynter has been left out.
"We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification," chairman of selectors Ross McCollum explained.
"It is indeed a very experienced squad, which we feel will serve us in good stead in high pressure games. While we haven't named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements, and we'll have no hesitation in bringing either in if any injuries occur.
"Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out, but we felt that given the prolific form that Rory McCann showed in domestic cricket in 2011 in the NCU, that he deserved his chance."
Ireland will play Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Oman, Scotland and USA having been drawn in Group B of the 16-team tournament. The winner of the competition will take on Australia and the West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this year while the runners-up will play former champions England and India.
Ireland are bidding to appear at their third World Twenty20 having made the second group stage in England in 2009 and the first group stage in the West Indies in 2010.
Ireland T20I squad: William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Rory McCann, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson
Standby players: Tim Murtagh, Andrew Poynter, Andrew Poynter, James Shannon, Albert van der Merwe
© Cricket World 2012