Saturday 25 November 2017

Cricket: Phil Simmons goes for experience in bid for World Cup qualification

Irish cricket coach Phil Simmons
Irish cricket coach Phil Simmons

IRELAND coach Phil Simmons has named an experienced squad to travel to the United Arab Emirates next month.

Simmons and his men have fixtures against the UAE in the Intercontinental Cup and the World Cricket League, as well as playing a Twenty20 fixture against their hosts.

Owing to the importance of the fixtures, Simmons has opted for a seasoned squad, with 12 of the 14 players selected having appeared in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

John Mooney also returns from a hand injury while uncapped batsman James Shannon gets the nod ahead of Stuart Thompson.

"It's pretty much among expected lines. These games are vital in our quest to gain one of the two automatic World Cup qualification places," Simmons said.

"When the pressure is on, I've found there's no substitute for experience. Nine of our squad have played for their country 100 times or more, and 11 of them have World Cup experience."

Ireland play Canada in a warm-up game on March 8 and 9, before their first official appointment with the UAE on March 12.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, James Shannon, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

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