The UAE will host yet another cricket tournament this October. Ireland is scheduled to tour the UAE for the T20 tournament, which will include only three games. The first of the games will begin on Thursday, 7th October, and the second the following day on Friday 8th October. The final game of the tour will end on Saturday 10th October. These games are in preparation for the ICC T20 championships that will take place in UAE.
Ireland announced their squads for this warm-up series early on in anticipation of the T20 World Cup. Some of the players included in the squad were obvious choices, but some came as a surprise to fans. Andre Balbirnie, the Dublin-born star, was an obvious choice for the captain as he has had a noteworthy career. Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien are experienced players that would not have missed their spots in the squad. The team’s all-rounder spot has been taken by Gareth, who was left out of the Zimbabwe tour. Joining him, Andrew McBrine brings his skills as an off-spinner to the squad.
Graham Kennedy had played for the team before as he was picked for the Zimbabwe ODI series. However, his performance has been less than exciting, scoring at a rate of 7.66. In addition, the uncapped player has only managed seven wickets from 5 innings, which is a subpar performance. Therefore, his selection came as a surprise since the same squad will play at the T20 World Cup.
McBrine has nothing much to brag about as he has only managed one wicket from two games. The off-spinner pick also comes as a surprise as he hasn’t had a chance to prove his prowess. Even so, Graham Ford, the head coach, said that McBrine would be a backup player in case a player catches the Coronavirus.
The Ireland board has yet to decide on the first Wicket-keeper as Ford said it would be between Lorcan Tucker and Neil Rock. However, the head coach added that he would wait for the 2nd leg of IPL to decide between the two players. As such, the 18-man squad is still not final as it includes options.
Before going to Abu Dhabi, Ireland will square off with Namibia, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands at the qualifiers in Oman. After that, the Ireland squad will take on the Netherlands side at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Stadium on 18th October 2021.
The Ireland Squad for the UAE tour includes Andrew Blbirnie as the captain, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Curtis Campher, Andrew McBrine, Craig Young, Josh Little, Ben White, Shane Getkate, Lorcan Tucker, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Graham Kennedy, Simi Singh, Mark Adair, and Gareth Delany.
Even though the three-header game is only a warm-up, it would be interesting to see the outcome. Ireland is going into this mini-tournament ready to prove themselves a force to be reckoned with. In addition, the squad is not yet final. The 18-man squad is a general outline consisting of covers and options. Therefore, look out for the official players’ list when the Ireland board decides.