Connell dropped over poor attitude
Peter Connell, the Ireland seamer, has been dropped for next month's Intercontinental Cup tie against Scotland at Aberdeen after what coach Phil Simmons labelled "a drop in attitude" with 17-year-old Shane Getkate being drafted in.
In another example of Simmons' no-nonsense attitude he decided Connell needed to step away from the first team to assess where to take his game. Simmons picked out Connell's below-par display against Kenya, at Eglinton, as a performance that showed his new-ball bowler wasn't on top of his game. Connell claimed two wickets in the match as Kenya hung on for a draw.
"From my point of view his attitude has dropped as far as the team and the game is concerned," Simmons said. "I need to see that he's back to where he was at towards the beginning of last year. I want people to realise just how nice it is to be involved with this squad and not take it for granted."
Connell will now play for the A side against MCC, at Lord's, and Simmons hopes it will be a chance for Connell to prove his worth. "It's that for now," he said. "Sometimes when people don't play, their focus and attitude can drop. I know it can be difficult, but people have got to be strong and show the right determination to prove to me they should be included."
"He's obviously disappointed. He's asked me what he needs to do to get back into the fold, and that he's going to work doubly hard to get back into contention," Simmons added. "That's exactly what a coach wants to hear. I didn't think he bowled well in the match with Kenya at Eglinton, so we're examining other options."
Connell's replacement, Getkate, is a one of the players Simmons hopes will form the next generation for Ireland. He is on Warwickshire's books and the coach can see a bright future ahead.
"I've watched quite a bit of our young seam bowling talent over the past month at both the Under-19 and Under-17 European Championships and he's the one who has impressed me most. His fitness, strength and pace has improved, and it's a great opportunity for him to see what's there for him.
"Indeed, for all the seamers, I want to see who wants it the most. Who is prepared to put in the hard work and push for a place in the squad. In the next 18 months or so we have a World Cup coming up, and I want people to prove to me they should be included. Let's give everybody a sight of what's on offer, and see who responds best to the challenge."
Ireland will once again be captained by Kyle McCallan, with county players William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien and Boyd Rankin unavailable.
Squad Kyle McCallan (capt), Andre Botha, Jeremy Bray, Andrew Britton, Alex Cusack, Shane Getkate, Trent Johnston, Kevin O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Andrew Poynter, Regan West, Andrew White, Gary Wilson