O'Brien omitted by Ireland
Ireland have overlooked wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien for their tour of Kenya due to his participation in the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League.
O’Brien, who was signed by Khulna Royal Bengal for $US80,000 at the recent BPL auctions, had offered to link up with the squad for the one-day internationals in Kenya before taking part in the World Twenty20 qualifier that follows in the United Arab Emirates.
However, Cricket Ireland have decided that all members of the squad must be available for the entire tour, meaning O’Brien has been left out of a 15-man party. The same players, along with Andrew Poynter and James Shannon, have been named in Ireland’s World T20 qualifier squad, which must be trimmed to 14 by February 12.
National coach Phil Simmons said: “There were difficult matters for the selectors to discuss regarding Niall O’Brien’s availability.
“They took on board Niall’s offer to play in only the ODIs in Kenya, join the squad for part of the South Africa (training) camp, and then the ICC World T20 qualifier. However, the selectors remained consistent to their principle, regarding that all players must be available for all parts of the tour. Niall was not able to make himself available for the whole tour and therefore the selectors have decided not to select him for any part of the tour, including the World T20 qualifier.
“We are only selecting for this tour and the next selection will be for the RSA Challenge ODI versus Australia in June; at that point they will consider all available players.
“Niall has communicated that he still wishes to play for Ireland and the selectors will take that into consideration when they next meet.”
Shannon and Max Sorensen are the only two players in the squads without international experience.
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh, who is in the process of gaining Irish citizenship, could yet be added to the final World T20 Qualifier squad, should he receive his passport in time.
The tour of Kenya comprises of a four-day Intercontinental Cup match, two World Cup qualifying ODIs as part of the ICC's 50-over league and three Twenty20 internationals.
Ireland squad for tour of Kenya: Will Porterfield (Warwickshire, captain), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Nigel Jones (CSN), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Rory McCann (Instonians), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).
*Albert van der Merwe will only play in the Intercontinental Cup match and Nigel Jones will join the squad from Feb 15 to take part in the ODIs and T20s.
Ireland squad for training camp in South Africa and ICC World T20 Qualifier in the UAE: Will Porterfield (Warwickshire, captain), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Nigel Jones (CSN), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Rory McCann (Instonians), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).