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Ireland name 14-man squad for historic first Test against England at Lord's

William Porterfield will captain Ireland for the four-day game later this month.

Ireland in action at Lord's during last year's One-Day International.
Ireland in action at Lord's during last year's One-Day International.
Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

IRELAND’S SQUAD FOR this month’s landmark first Test match against England at Lord’s has been announced, with the selectors showing faith in a number of young players who have come of age encouragingly this summer.

William Porterfield will again captain Ireland for their third Test — and first against England — at the Home of Cricket between 24-27 July, with the selectors today unveiling a 14-man panel for the four-day game. 

Veterans of the side, Boyd Rankin, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien and Tim Murtagh, will all get the opportunity to play in the historic Test, a fitting reward for their contributions in green for so many years, while there is also an injection of youth.

Mark Adair and Lorcan Tucker have both performed impressively in white-ball cricket this summer, most recently in the series victory over Zimbabwe, and are included, as is opening batsman James McCollum.

Andrew Balbirnie, arguably Ireland’s most consistent and in-form batsman over the last two years, will hope for a memorable return to the ground he called home for four years during his days with Middlesex, ditto Paul Stirling and Murtagh who are currently on the books at the English county side. 

There is, however, no place for George Dockrell as he again misses out having been omitted for Ireland’s inaugural Test against Pakistan last May, with Simi Singh and Andy McBrine the spin options available to coach Graham Ford.

Rankin, Adair, Murtagh, all-rounder Stuart Thompson and Craig Young make up the fast-bowling department, while Wilson and Tucker will vie for the wicket-keeping gloves in a warm-up game next week.

Andrew Balbirnie and William Porterfield celebrate the dismissal of Asad Shafiq bowled by Tim Murtagh William Porterfield [right] will captain Ireland at Lord's. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Ireland will fine-tune their preparations against a Middlesex 2nd XI side at Merchant Taylor’s School on 18 and 19 July, before facing England — who go head-to-head with Australia in Thursday’s World Cup semi-final — in the first Test of their summer.  

“The historic nature of this Test match will not be lost on anyone, however, the players will not be overawed by the occasion,” Andrew White, chair of national men’s selectors, said.

“I think we demonstrated the fight and talent we possess in the recent ODI against England at Malahide, and I expect the players will look to be just as competitive in the Test arena.

We have stated all along that as selectors we are looking for players not only in-form but displaying consistent performances, and I believe we have selected a squad that reflects this. It’s also a squad that balances experience and emerging talent, which is necessary in looking to the future in this format of the game.

“This may only be our third Test, but we have 11 more to play over the next three years and our two Tests to date have shown glimpses of the potential we possess.

“We often say that this is a team in transition, but recent performances at home give us great optimism that we are on the right path and will come to Lord’s with confidence and belief.”

Ireland Test squad: William Porterfield (captain), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

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Ryan Bailey

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