©INPHO/James Crombie Lucy O'Reilly is set to surpass Elena Tice, pictured here with Emma Flanagan (c) and Isobel Joyce (r), as Ireland's youngest cricketer.
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13-year-old set to become Ireland's youngest cricketer after Twenty20 call-up
Lucy O’Reilly is hoping to help her country into the T20 World Cup three months before her 14th birthday.

LUCY O’REILLY IS set to become the youngest Irish international cricketer after being named in the Ireland squad for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifiers later this month.

The 13-year-old YMCA all-rounder, daughter of former Irish international Peter O’Reilly, is one of 14 players named for the global event which will see eight countries converge on Dublin in search of the three remaining places on offer for Bangladesh in 2014.

O’Reilly has already played for the Senior Women, making her debut in May in the County Championships. She played a major role taking 2-15 last weekend as Ireland beat Worcestershire by seven wickets in their Division Two game.

Ireland coach Jeremy Bray has never been afraid to give youth a chance as he showed by selecting leg-spinner Elena Tice when she was just 13 years and 272 days old against The Netherlands in August 2011. If O’Reilly, who doesn’t turn 14 until November, plays in the qualifiers she will take Tice’s age record and become the second youngest women’s international in the history of the game, behind Sajjida Shah, who was 12 when she made her debut for Pakistan.

Bray, the scorer of Ireland’s first century in a World Cup, said, “While the headlines will be about the teenagers in the squad such as Lucy, Elena, Una Raymond-Hoey and Kim Garth, it shouldn’t be forgotten that we’ve got a spine of experience in there too. Isobel and Cecelia Joyce have been stalwarts for over a decade now, while Clare Shilliington and Eimear Richardson are also battle hardened.” He added:

There’s a real team camaraderie and spirit in the camp, and it’s a real bonus for the team to be on home soil. Our conditions will give us a massive advantage over the other sides who may find it very difficult to acclimatise. The fact that the ICC has just announced that there are three qualification places up for grabs instead of one is a real boost.”

Ireland have been seeded third and are drawn in the same group as Sri Lanka, Japan and Canada. Top seeds Pakistan are in the other Group alongside The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Thailand.

The tournament will be held at four venues in Leinster (The Hills, Malahide, Merrion and YMCA) from 23 July until 1 August.

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