Ireland have included right-arm seamer Graeme McCarter, George Dockrell and William Porterfield in their 15-man squad for the World Cup Super League games against the Netherlands next month. The three ODIs will be played in Utrecht, with fixtures on June 2, 4 and 7.
McCarter has played one ODI and two T20Is but hasn't represented Ireland for almost six years now. Meanwhile, Porterfield hasn't played an international game since January 2020. Dockrell, who has now transformed himself into a solid batsman, too played his last ODI in May 2019. The two were left out of the series against Afghanistan and the UAE. Curtis Campher is not part of the squad as he suffered an ankle injury that now requires surgery.
"The squad selected, not only rewards form, but provides a group of players that offer Graham Ford and Andrew Balbirnie options on any given match day. We have sought to provide continuity with the young players who continue to gain exposure at international level, while still incorporating a number of experienced players whose value around such a squad goes far beyond just their performances on the field," said the Chairman of the Men's selection committee, Andrew White.
"There have been a number of stand-out performers in the Inter-Pros and during the recent Wolves series that really came into contention early on in our discussions, such as Graeme McCarter and George Dockrell. Graeme has proven time-and-time again that he bowls with excellent control, and continually hits that line and length that makes batters uncomfortable. Given the conditions we will face in Holland may be very similar to those at home, Graeme’s bowling will be a great asset and is reward for the hard work he has put in over a number of years.
"It has been very pleasing for the Selectors to see George being, without doubt, the leading batter in domestic cricket in 2021. During the off-season he was challenged to bat more consistently at inter-pro and Wolves level. His natural ability has always been there to see, but the way he has risen to the challenge so far is a great credit to him. We have high hopes that he can carry that form into the international arena, and bat with the freedom and confidence that he really began to show in 2020, and has pushed even further forward in 2021.
The Andrew Balbirnie-led side will also consist of additional four players who will travel with the team to assist them with preparations and training given the current COVID-19 restrictions not permitting local support.
"In addition to the core squad, we have an opportunity for a few of our emerging talented young players to travel with the senior squad and gain valuable experience and insights into international cricket life. While they will be there to assist with preparation and training, for players who are aspiring to take that next step in their careers, the developmental opportunity for them should be invaluable."
This is series will serve as a gateway for qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India. Following this series, Ireland are also scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is against both South Africa and Zimbabwe.
"The three World Cup Super League matches against the Netherlands will be a stern test for the squad as we head into a busy and consequential summer of international cricket. This is the first of three such series we’re playing over the next few months, and with 30 world cup qualification points up for grabs, we will be keen to claim as many points as we can."
Squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Additional players: Peter Chase, Stephen Doheny, Graham Kennedy, David O'Halloran.