The Ireland selectors have opted for experience as they named their squad to face world champions Australia in the Hanley Energy Challenge at Stormont on Thursday August 27th.
William Porterfield captains the 13 strong squad, no less than nine of which featured in the last encounter between the two sides at the same venue in 2012.
That match didn’t go the full distance, but Ireland will be hopeful they can pull off a major result in front of a large home crowd in Belfast in what will be the Australians’ first one-day international since winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in March.
Chairman of Selectors Alan Lewis commented: “After the disappointment of the England match in May we are all looking forward to the visit of the World Champions for The Hanley Energy Challenge. For the squad of 13 that has been selected I am sure they will all be chomping at the bit to be in the final XI for this challenge.”
For head coach John Bracewell, this will mark his first 50-over game in charge of Ireland and he is relishing the prospect of playing against a side he’s battled with as player and coach for many years: “It doesn’t get much bigger than a match against the Aussies, and I know the boys are all raring to go.”
“They’ve named a quality side and with a new captain taking over the reins it’s going to be extremely difficult, particularly with players looking to book their spot in the starting line-up for their series against England. But we’ve named a squad with buckets of experience with all bar one having been at the World Cup earlier this year, and nine of them have faced Australia at this venue. We know we’ve the quality to challenge the best in the world.”
For captain Porterfield, he knows Ireland have unfinished business against the number one ranked side, “We missed out on a really good chance at beating Australia a couple of years ago in Clontarf, and unfortunately no result was possible last time out at Stormont. We know we are a much improved side since then, and we’ve shown it on the world stage over the last few years. The younger lads who have come into the squad have really fitted in well and shown they’re more than capable of mixing it with the best.
“The Hanley Energy Challenge is going to be another fantastic occasion in Belfast, and the prospect of playing in front of a large home support always gives the players a great buzz. With a capacity crowd behind us we’ll be going all out for the win.”
Tickets for the Hanley Energy Challenge are selling fast and are available via the Cricket Ireland website or through TicketMaster outlets nationwide. Further information on hospitality and match packages can be found on www.cricketireland.ie
The Ireland squad in full:
William Porterfield (captain) (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), George Dockrell (Somerset), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (Balbriggan), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andy McBrine (Donemana), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Leicestershire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready)
Australia have named a strong side for the trip to Ireland:
Steve Smith (captain), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson , Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, David Warner