©ICC/Donald MacLeod

McCann and Sorensen called into Ireland squad for World T20 qualifiers

Ireland have named a familiar-looking squad for next month’s World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

TWELVE OF IRELAND’S Cricket World Cup heroes will form the backbone of the squad for next month’s World Twenty20 qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates.

Wicketkeeper Rory McCann is called into the squad to replace Niall O’Brien, who was ruled out of contention last month when he signed up for the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League T20 season.

Hills all-rounder Max Sorensen is the other new face in the 14-man panel, but there is no place for Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh, who recently obtained an Irish passport, or Intercontinental Cup hero Albert van der Merwe.

Both Murtagh and van der Merwe have been included among the four replacements.

Andre Botha, who retired last May, is the only player missing from last year’s World Cup squad.

“We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification,” Ross McCollum, chairman of the selectors, explained today.

“It is indeed a very experienced squad, which we feel will serve us in good stead in high pressure games.”

Ireland open their Group B qualification campaign against Namibia in Dubai on 13 March.

Before that, the team have two one-day internationals against Kenya in Mombasa on Saturday and Monday. They then travel to South Africa for a pre-tournament training camp, where they will also play three Twenty20 fixtures against The Warriors.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Rory McCann, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

Replacements: Tim Murtagh, Andrew Poynter, James Shannon, Albert van der Merwe.

ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers – Selected Fixtures

  • 13 March - Ireland v Namibia, Dubai
  • 14 March - Ireland v Kenya, Dubai
  • 15 March - Ireland v Italy, Abu Dhabi
  • 16 March – Ireland v USA, Dubai
  • 18 March - Ireland v Scotland, Dubai
  • 19 March – Ireland v Uganda, Dubai
  • 20 March - Ireland v Oman, Abu Dhabi

Eamon Zayed’s Tehran derby hat-trick caused a fan to ‘have a heart attack and die’

Jones back in the Munster mix after injury lay-off