Ireland tour of Kenya January 25, 2012

No Niall O'Brien for Kenya tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

Niall O'Brien, the Ireland wicketkeeper-batsman, has not been picked in the Ireland squad for the tour of Kenya. O'Brien's participation in the Bangladesh Premier League makes his unavailable for part of the tour. He also hasn't been picked in the squad for the ICC World T20 qualifier in the UAE in March.

The tour of Kenya includes a four-day Intercontinental Cup match, two World Cup qualifying ODIs as part of the ICC's 50-over league and three Twenty20s. O'Brien said he would be available for the ODIs but the selectors said all players must be available for all parts of the tour, and didn't pick him.

"There were difficult matters for the selectors to discuss regarding Niall O'Brien's availability," Phil Simmons, the Ireland coach, said in a release. "They took on board Niall's offer to play in only the ODIs in Kenya, join the squad for part of the South Africa camp, and then the ICC World T20 Qualifier.

"However the selectors remained consistent to their principle, regarding that all players must be available for all parts of the tour. Niall was not able to make himself available for the whole tour and therefore the selectors have decided not to select him for any part of the tour including the ICC World T20 Qualifier.

"We are only selecting for this tour and the next selection will be for the RSA Challenge ODI versus Australia in June; at that point they will consider all available players. Niall has communicated that he still wishes to play for Ireland and the selectors will take that into consideration when they next meet."

O'Brien was picked up by Khulna Royal Bengal for US$80,000 at the BPL auctions; the tournament runs from February 9-20. O'Brien, 30, has been a key player for Ireland in their top order and is vastly experienced, having played 49 ODIs and 98 first-class matches.

The Ireland squad will be led by William Porterfield. Albert van der Merwe will only play in the Intercontinental Cup match between February 12-15, and Nigel Jones will join the squad from February 15 to take part in the ODIs and the T20s.

Ireland also announced a provisional squad of 17 for the ICC World T20 Qualifier in the UAE; a squad of 14 will be selected from this on February 12. The squad will also participate in a warm-up preparation camp in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • joynal693 on January 28, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    This is ridiculous decision by the Irish Selector. Niall is one of their most important player and that is why he has been selected in the BPL auction from where he may not only earn money but he can have a huge experience of Subcontinent and International Challenge.......We are waiting to see you some good knock from you Niall because the The Best Alrounder of the world Shakib Al Hasan has chosen you to do so. Now its your turn to return him......Good luck Niall........Good luck BPL....

  • dummy4fb on January 27, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    club cs country doesnt it apply here

  • Sachit1979 on January 27, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Thanks a lot @amclean and @JosRoberts, I am regular follower of cricinfo but somehow missed this story. I wish some resolution comes and we see him playing for Ireland in upcoming T20 world cup. He was one of the most promising cricketers in New Zealand but for personal reasons opted to play in English county rather than pursuing his career with New Zealand's international Cricket.

  • amclean on January 26, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    To add to @Jos Roberts, the issue with Hamish Marshall and Ireland took a very strange twist last June because he also became eligible to play for England, due to having lived here for four years. This triggered a payment from the ECB to Gloucestershire and created an absurd situation where if he played for Ireland, that payment might not be made. The irony of it all was that Marshall was only playing for Gloucestershire in the first place because of his Irish passport. See here for more:

  • JosRoberts on January 26, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    @Sachit1979 - The issue with Marshall was that he had previously played for NZ within 4 years, not where he had lived. He has an Irish passport so he would have been available as soon as the 4 years were up, which was after the W/C had started.

  • Sachit1979 on January 26, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    I remember last time when Ireland declared provisional squad for ODI world cup 2011. They tried to rope in former NZ international Hamish Marshall also. But he could not make it in world cup because of ICC rule of qualification that perhaps asks player to have atleast 4 years of stay in corresponding country. But now it seems, he would be meeting that criteria. Still he is missing in the squad. Is he out of Ireland scheme of things now? I believe his presence would definitely boost Ireland's firepower.

  • dummy4fb on January 26, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Welcome to BPL Naill. Would love to see some scores from you.

  • dummy4fb on January 25, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    very disappointed to hear about Niall not being included . Over the years he has been a great asset to cricket Ireland and now because he wants to get playing in Bangladesh for a few weeks he is going to miss out on the world t20 Qualifiers. When Ireland beat big teams Niall usually has a big role to play in It . I agree with not including him in the Kenya/South Africa tour but the decision needs a rethink and he needs to be selected for the Qualifiers .It also would be nice to see Tim Murtagh playing for Ireland but only if he fully commits to Cricket Ireland and is not just in it for the Big games.If the selectors are going to exclude Niall for wanting to play in Bangladesh well then it should be the same rule for everyone and those who want to play for England.

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