The Ireland Cricket Board on Wednesday announced a 14-player squad for two-match T20I series against India, scheduled to start on June 26 in Malahide. The squad named for the two-match T20I series against India includes call-ups for two of the North West Warriors squad – top-order batter Stephen Doheny and pace bowler Conor Olphert. Both players were recently handed retainer contracts by Cricket Ireland.
The first match of the two-match T20I series will be played on June 26 at Malahide, while the second and the final match will be held on June 28.
Both Doheny and Olphert make it to the squad on the back of stunning campaigns in the ongoing Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy. While Doheny, a top-order batter, has gathered 158 runs at an average of 52.67, Olphert has bagged six wickets at 19.17 apiece.
Andrew Balbirnie will lead the Men in Green which includes other well-known names such as Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Mark Adair and Andy McBrine. While Stirling, Balbirnie and Harry Tector will lead the batting department, Joshua Little, Craig Young and Adair will headline the bowling attack.
Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said: “There aren’t many better challenges for a new national coach to have than to start your tenure against the world’s number one-ranked T20I side, India. Heinrich [Malan] has been working hard since his arrival in Ireland, crisscrossing the island, getting to know the players and familiarizing himself with the growing depth of talent we have here – and it’s this growing depth of talent that has made a challenging selection process for the first fixtures of the men’s home season.”
“The T20I squad features a familiar core to the squad, but it’s pleasing to see a number of new faces earn their call-ups in Stephen Doheny and Conor Olphert. Both Warriors’ players have impressed at the inter-provincial level this season with consistent performances, while Doheny has also come off the back of a good tour of Namibia with the Ireland Wolves. Olphert has bowled quickly, particularly on good wickets at Comber last month, and his selection gives us an opportunity to look at him as a tactical option given what lies ahead for the rest of the year,” he added.
White said there are numerous players who could probably consider themselves unlucky not to make these squads “but runs and wickets are the currency we look for and the selectors believe we have picked squads that recognise and reward consistent form and performance on the field”.
India last toured Ireland in 2018 for a two-match T20I series and clinched the trophy 2-0. Currently, the Indian team is playing five-match T20I series at home against South Africa, where the Proteas have the lead by 2-1.
Ireland Men’s T20I squad: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker and Craig Young.
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