Ireland announce their 18-man provisional squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. They have picked uncapped bowling all-rounder Graham Kennedy for the tournament and have left out medium-pacer William McClintock, who made his debut against Zimbabwe recently.
Gareth Delany, who last played a T20I in March 2020 also comes back into the squad. A veteran of 23 T20Is, Delany has scored 435 runs at a strike-rate in excess of 150 and has also chipped in with 19 wickets with his leg-break.
"I think Gareth Delany coming back was a big factor. It's not something that William McClintock has or has not done that has affected the decision," Andrew White, Chairman of National Men's Selectors, said.
"I thought the way he was managed through the South Africa series and being involved around the squad and the senior players was crucial to him in making his debut.
"He did everything that was asked of him. But in terms of the balance of the squad obviously with Gareth Delany coming back in and then making sure we had the necessary spinners at our disposal for the conditions that we're probably going to face in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. There's IPL coming up now so we expect the pitches to be spinning ones and low and slow so there we had to take that into consideration. Obviously, William was unfortunate to miss out."
With Simi Singh a permanent fixture in the Irish squad, off-spinner Andu McBrine has been roped in as a reserve. "He [McBrine] comes as a back-up," head coach Graham Ford said.
"The way it's been is that Simi has nailed down a spot. You are going in this World Cup campaign and you have to have cover for Covid or injuries. It's a no-brainer, he is an automatic pick into the 18."
Ireland are in the same group as Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Namibia in the first round. They kick start their T20 World Cup campaign with a match against Netherlands on October 18 in Abu Dhabi.
As part of the build-up, they will play two warm-up matches - against PNG and Bangladesh - on October 12 and 14 respectively.
Ireland squad for T20 World Cup 2021 (Including reserves): Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.