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Ireland and Dutch prepare for vital games

Ireland and the Netherlands have named squads for their crucial World Cup qualifiers next month.

Two wins would secure Ireland automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Ireland, whose party is unchanged, currently top the ICC World Cricket League Championship table on 17 points, three ahead of the second-placed Dutch.

With mandatory release for the matches, Ireland's county players are available for the games in Amsterdam and coach Phil Simmons welcomes their experience.

"It's no secret that I like having seasoned players freshened up with a sprinkling of youth,” he said. “We have a settled squad now with most of the players having played at least 100 times.

“They are used to handling pressure having played in World Cups and that will stand them in good stead as the qualifying tournament enters its final stages.

"I want the team to finish strongly with four wins - that's our aim. We want not only to win the competition but to do it convincingly with 25 points."

Ireland squad for World Cricket League Championship games on July 7 and 9 at VRA, Amstelveen: Will Porterfield (captain, Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

A surprise selection for the Dutch is Edgar Schiferli from Quick Haag, who retired from international cricket a few years ago due to a serious knee injury. This season Schiferli has shown excellent form for his club, which is leading the Top League.

Netherlands squad: Peter Borren (captain), Wesley Barresi, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Tom Cooper, Ahsan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Edgar Schiferli, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski.

Ireland also currently top the InterContinental Cup table and will be hoping to gain the win which would secure a final place in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Somerset left-arm spinner George Dockrell is the only county player selected, which means opportunities for John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Phil Eaglestone, Stuart Thompson and Stuart Poynter. MCC Young Cricketer Poynter impressed against Australia A recently, scoring an impressive half-century in a battling Ireland display.

Ireland squad for ICC InterContinental Cup matches on July 1-4 at Deventer: Kevin O'Brien (captain, Railway Union), John Anderson (Merrion), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke/Middlesex), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Phil Eaglestone (Waringstown), Trent Johnston (YMCA), John Mooney (North County), Stuart Poynter (MCCYC), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Andrew White (Instonians).

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