Ireland pick experienced squad for World Cup qualifiers


Ireland have chosen to go with experience for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, with mo less than eight players boasting 100 international caps to their name.

The 27-year-old James Shannon, who only has one ODI cap to his name, has been selected in a squad that includes household Irish names like captain William Porterfield, Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling and Kevin and Niall O’Brien.

Stuart Poynter misses out as his wife is due to give birth in March while seamer Tim Murtagh makes a return to the squad

The qualifying matches for the 2019 World Cup will be played in Zimbabwe in March with Ireland in group A alongside favourites West Indies, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

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Porterfield said: “It’s going to be a really hard-fought tournament with nearly all the sides in with a genuine chance of qualification.

“There are certainly no ‘gimmes’ in the competition. It’s a pity there are only two places up for grabs.

“We’ve got a good record against the Windies, beating them in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, so we’ll take confidence from that.

“The Netherlands have got some big players back in recent times, so they’ll be tough, while PNG are improving all the time.

“We will be at full strength for the competition, so hopefully if we play to our strengths we’ll make it through to the United Kingdom in 2019 and our fourth straight World Cup.”

Two countries from the World Cup qualifiers will play at the 2019 World Cup.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson