Ireland have named a 16-man squad for their upcoming tour where they play back-to-back ODI series against Afghanistan and hosts UAE.
Ireland Squad for Afghanistan, UAE ODI Tour
These matches will be part of the ODI Super League and hence will be crucial for the scheme of things in the lead up to the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India.
They already have 10 points to their name after they beat England in the third and final match of the three-match ODI series held in August. The matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League.
Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, David Delany, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
📡: SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT
Ireland Men’s squad named for January tour.
— Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) December 10, 2020
Gary Wilson ruled out of the squad
Gary Wilson will too not join the squad for this tour in order to be at home for the birth of his second child, with Neil Rock coming in as wicket-keeping cover.
“Ordinarily, Wilson would likely have been able to re-join the squad after the birth. However, this is not possible under the COVID-19 protocols in place for the series without an extended period of self-isolation so it was agreed that this would rule him out on this occasion,” Cricket Ireland said in a statement.
This tour will also be the first since Stuart Barnes, the new assistant head coach and National bowling lead, joined the support staff.
The Ireland cricket team may have played just 12 international matches in 2020, however, head coach Graham Ford believes the squad can be pleased with the progress they have made despite the disrupted year.
“It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year, but the lads have acquitted themselves well and can be proud of what they have managed to achieve,” Ford said in an official statement.
“We’ve beaten the T20 World Champions, the West Indies, in a T20I in the Caribbean, beaten Afghanistan for the first time in a T20I in the subcontinent, and beaten the current World Cup champions England in their own backyard – those wins have helped build self-belief within the players and have demonstrated the progress we are making as a squad,” he added.
Additionally, several players and support staff who are not on the tour will remain at home under COVID-19 safe conditions in case a substitute needs to be flown out to Abu Dhabi during the month.