Porterfield to lead experienced Ireland squad for World T20
William Porterfield will lead an experienced Ireland squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 in India, with as many as five players ready to take part in their fifth tournament.
Porterfield, who also captained the team during their inaugural World T20 in England in 2009, will be joined by Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson as well as the O'Brien brothers Kevin and Niall in the 15-man squad. Boyd Rankin, who recently returned to the Ireland fold after playing seven ODIs, two T20Is and one Test for England in 2013-14, has also been included in the squad; he picked up six wickets in an Intercontinental Cup clash against Papua New Guinea last week.
"We are really looking forward to this World Cup, particularly with the return of Boyd Rankin," Alan Lewis, Ireland's chairman of selectors, said. "He gives our attack so much more balance and potency, as seen in our Intercontinental Cup win last week.
"As such a consistent performer I am also delighted to see Tim Murtagh in the squad for an event like this particularly as he missed the 2015 World Cup is such disappointing circumstances.
"These are the events that players want to excel in so hopefully with the lead time involved and the energy the team always show we can emerge out on top of the group in the first phase."
Ireland, who are in the same qualifying group as Netherlands, Oman and Bangladesh, will begin their campaign against Oman on March 9, in Dharamsala.
"The squad has got a real balance to it, with that blend of youth and experience that every coach likes. Ireland are now regular performers on the world stage so there's no fear or intimidation factors," John Bracewell, the head coach, said. "We will be well prepared for the competition, as we're currently playing Papua New Guinea, will take on the UAE later this week, and will be India for a training camp ahead of the competition.
"It's another great chance for the squad to showcase Irish cricket to a global audience, and the guys are determined to prove they belong at the top level of the sport."
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young