Cusack in Ireland training squad, but no Joyce

Ireland

Ireland have named a strong 18-man squad for a training tour to Australia next month, as they look to prepare for the World Cup in the Antipodes next year, with most of the usual suspects on the list.

Ireland have named a strong 18-man squad for a training tour to Australia next month, as they look to prepare for the World Cup in the Antipodes next year, with most of the usual suspects on the list.

A significant inclusion is fast bowler Alex Cusack, who has been in and out with injuries, and is not yet fully fit. But he has been given the go-ahead to tour with a view of being ready for the World Cup.

Coach Phil Simmons said the paceman had earned the chance to make a comeback, given his record and years of dedication to the side. Simmons said: "He has been in a long period of rehabilitation and is fit to train now.

"He will be back training and bowling this week and part of his continued rehabilitation will be in Australia with the hope he is able to play towards the latter half of the tour in New Zealand.

"Alex has been injured before tournaments in the past but topped our bowling averages, so the selectors feel given his past record he deserves the chance to prove he can be fit for the World Cup, and this is the only tour before the final squad of 15 is selected in early December."

A notable absentee was batsman Ed Joyce, who will instead be recovering after a long County season with Sussex, as Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth explained.

He said: "Ed has had a number of niggling injuries over the summer as well as a long-term degenerative hip which he has been managing well for some years with the support of medical staff at both Sussex CCC and Cricket Ireland.

"He is 36 years old now and if he is to continue to play at the highest level we need to carefully manage his programme."

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), Peter Chase (Durham), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Stuart Poynter (Durham), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton) , Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).

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