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Harry's game ready for ODI stage, says Balbirnie

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Andy Balbirnie. Photo: Sportsfile

Andy Balbirnie. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Andy Balbirnie. Photo: Sportsfile

Harry Tector is set to make his one-day international debut against England at the Ageas Bowl tomorrow but Mark Adair has yet to fully recover from ankle surgery and is not in the 14-strong Ireland squad for the first of the three-match series in Southampton.

Tector, the second of three talented brothers who play for YMCA, already has 20 T20 international caps and made an irresistible case for inclusion in the ODI middle order when he struck 55 against the England Lions on Sunday.

Skipper Andy Balbirnie hinted yesterday that Tector might not be the only debutant, with South African-born Curtis Campher in the frame for a first cap too, despite the 20-year-old never having played a competitive game in Ireland.

"Harry's been in great form with the bat in both the practice games we've played here, and in the nets, and he's certainly ready for this stage," Balbirnie said.

"Curtis is someone new to Irish cricket but from what I've seen of him over the past six or seven weeks training with us in Dublin he has been very impressive. He's a bowler that can hold a line and length and he's aggressive, and gives us something else. We wanted to give Mark an opportunity to prove his fitness in the Lions game. He's still not where we want him to be, though, there's still work to be done and that's why we made the call to go with Curtis in that all-rounder role."

The three-match series against England is the first in the brand new World Cup Super League which consists of the 12 ICC Full Members plus the Netherlands, with the top seven teams automatically joining hosts India in the finals of the 2023 event.

Those teams that miss out will get a second chance to qualify, along with the strongest ICC Associate sides, although Balbirnie again reiterated his and Ireland's opposition to a 10-team World Cup, saying it wasn't his favoured format.

"To qualify automatically for the World Cup by finishing in the top eight of the Super League would be the greatest achievement by any Ireland team," he said. "That's our aim, but if we fall short then we'll look to the qualifying tournament. One way or another, I'm sure we'll get there."

Ireland squad - Andrew Balbirnie (c), Paul Stirling, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Craig Young

Irish Independent