Ireland u19s World Cup squad named
A 15-player Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad has been named for the upcoming ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup to be held in the Caribbean in January.
Head Coach Peter Johnston spoke about the squad, preparations and the importance of participation in under-age world cups for emerging cricketers hoping to make their mark on the world stage.
Ireland secured qualification to the event by winning the ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup European Qualifier in September.
Tim Tector will once more captain the side – he is the third Tector brother to captain his country at this event with Jack (Bangladesh 2016) and Harry (New Zealand 2018) leading the last two Irish sides to feature at the Under-19s Men’s World Cup.
Ryan Eagleson, who was Head Coach for the Qualifier tournament, has moved into Ireland Men’s national bowling coach role on an interim basis. Replacing Eagleson is Peter Johnston, the current Academy and Performance Manager and Wolves Head Coach. Johnston has more than a decade’s experience with the Irish Senior Men’s Squad and brings a wealth of experience to the touring party.
The tournament will be held between 14 January and 5 February 2022, with 16 teams competing for the title that is considered the pinnacle for youth cricketers across the world. The competition features four groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the Super League stage of the tournament to decide the tournament winner. Teams finishing in third and fourth place in each group enter a Plate play-off.
Ireland Under-19s Group Stage fixtures are:
- 15 January: Ireland Under-19s v Uganda Under-19s (Everest Cricket Club, Guyana)
- 19 January: Ireland Under-19s v India Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
- 21 January: Ireland Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
A warm-up programme preceding the tournament will be announced shortly.
The core World Cup squad consists of 15 players, while one travelling reserve and two non-travelling reserves have also been named in line with Covid-19 protocols.
The Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad is:
Tim Tector (captain) (YMCA), Diarmuid Burke (Malahide), Joshua Cox (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Jack Dickson (Instonians), Liam Doherty (St. Andrew’s School), Jamie Forbes (YMCA), Daniel Forkin (Merrion), Matthew Humphreys (Lisburn), Philippe le Roux (Railway Union), Scott Macbeth (St. Johnston), Nathan McGuire (Rush), Muzamil Sherzad (North Kildare), David Vincent (Clontarf), Luke Whelan (North County), Reuben Wilson (YMCA).
Travelling reserve: Robbie Millar (Eglinton)
Non-travelling reserves: Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Ewan Wilson (Muckamore)
The coach and support staff are:
Peter Johnston (Head Coach), Beth Healy (Team Manager), Jay Shelat (Performance Analyst), Darren Nicol (Physiotherapist), Simon Johnston (Assistant Coach), Albert van der Merwe (Assistant Coach).
Pete Johnston, Head Coach of Ireland Under-19s Men’s, spoke following the squad announcement:
“The importance of competing at Under-19s World Cups cannot be underestimated on emerging cricketers. So many of today’s cricketing superstars have cut their teeth at such tournaments – it’s like a dress rehearsal for the main event, and is seen as a key experience for players wanting to take the step up to the senior international stage.
“During Ireland’s last appearance at the Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand in 2018 we won three of our six matches, including a memorable 4-run win over Afghanistan. From that squad, Neil Rock, Harry Tector and Josh Little have gone on to make their senior international debuts, while Graham Kennedy, JJ Garth and Aaron Cawley have featured for the Ireland Wolves.”
About the squad, Johnston said:
“We have largely kept faith in the squad that won the final in the European Qualifier, as the players showed great resilience in bouncing back from defeat in the first game. The way the lads finished strongly in that tournament, defeating an experienced Scotland side twice, was a great demonstration that they know their roles and their strengths - and most importantly, they know how to go about winning games under pressure.
“Unfortunately left-arm spinner Cameron Doak is unavailable for the trip, due to rugby and academic commitments. Daniel Forkin from Merrion Cricket Club comes in as a like-for-like replacement - Daniel has consistently impressed with strong performances with the ball.
“While only three seam bowlers featured in our 14-player Qualifier squad, with the extra squad player permitted for the World Cup squad, we have chosen to increase our depth in this department by adding 15-year old seamer Reuben Wilson from YMCA. Reuben has been part of our Under-15s pathway programme and has been training with the squad recently. He has impressed greatly with his ability to challenge our batters and we are confident that he will transition into the squad very well.
“Robbie Millar has also been selected as our 16th travelling player and will likely feature in fixtures during our warm-up fixtures to ensure he is ready should any injuries or illness occur. Robbie has shown a brilliant attitude all year and has been pushing hard with strong performances, he covers the disciplines of spin, fielding and batting very well.”
Johnston gave an insight into the squad’s development and preparations:
“This squad’s two-year performance cycle has been planned and managed meticulously in the face of challenges posed by the pandemic. Despite circumstances, the players have proven they can not only perform on the field, but also displayed the resilience and tenacity to overcome adversity – notably keeping their skills and development going despite being unable to train indoors over the past two winters. But through innovative pathway scheduling by National Pathway Manager Albert van de Merwe, and two jam-packed summers of home-based fixtures we are pleased where we are with the squad.
“In October we held a training camp in Spain, and players have built on this with weekly regional skill-sessions and numerous squad training weekends. We have additionally had the benefit of working with Performance expert Jonathan Harris-Wright, whose work with the players has had a big emphasis on speed and conditioning.
“As a final preparation programme ahead of the World Cup, we are finalising plans for a seven-day camp which will hopefully see the squad play a number of international fixtures.”
About the tournament itself, Johnston said:
“We have been placed in an exciting group with India, South Africa and Uganda. Hopefully the conditions in the Caribbean will suit us and the players will enjoy the experience of playing in some world-class stadia.
“While we will prepare thoroughly and take every game as it comes, our primary ambition is to qualify from the group, which we know means that we’ll have to be at our very best for all three games. Regardless of this though, whether it is through the Super League or Plate competition, we will be striving to finish as high as possible and keep learning and improving as the competition develops. Not only does the squad want to be successful on the field of play, but we also want to leave a legacy for the next cycle of players coming through.
“Success at this level is performing at your best against some of the world’s best, while enjoying and learning from the journey and experiences that come along the way.”