In brief: Joyce, Marshall in Ireland squad
Ireland have asked the International Cricket Council if they can include Ed Joyce and Hamish Marshall in their squad for February's World Cup after including both batsmen in their squad for the upcoming tour to India.
The two players do not become eligible for Ireland until April 2011 as Dublin-born Joyce played for England at the 2007 World Cup and Marshall has made 82 international appearances for his native New Zealand -- the last of which came in April 2007, against Ireland.
Sussex star Joyce, who last played for the Irish in 2005, and Gloucestershire's Marshall are in the squad for the November 1-22 trip to India, where Phil Simmons' side will play four matches against invitational sides.
Marshall, who has an Irish passport, is in the Ireland squad for the first time. Boyd Rankin and Regan West are not in the panel as they are still recuperating after injuries, while Alex Cusack returns after his recent operation.
Coach Simmons sees the tour as an ideal preparation for the World Cup, which will be played in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
"Although Ed and Hamish aren't officially available yet, this is a great chance for them to meet the players and vice versa. They have proven quality, and will be a great addition," he said.
The International Olympic Committee have confirmed that 400m champion LaShawn Merritt will be ineligible to defend his title at the 2012 Olympics.
The 24-year-old was this week banned for 21 months, backdated to last October, after failing three drugs tests, meaning he will be able to compete again on July 27, 2011.
But IOC rules prevent any athlete banned for more than six months from competing in the following Games.
Serena Williams will not play again this year due to a recurrence of her foot injury.
The American world No 2 pulled out of next week's WTA Championships in Doha and next month's Fed Cup final between the US and Italy.
"Pushed by my desire to return to competition, I trained too hard too soon and re-tore the tendon in my foot," said Williams. "As a result, I had to have another procedure to repair it."
Williams cut her foot on broken glass at a restaurant in July. She has not played since she won her 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon.