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August 21, 2009
Fast bowler Boyd Rankin and wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O'Brien have been included in Ireland's 13-man squad for the RSA Challenge one-day international against England at Stormont on August 27 after missing the recent Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in Aberdeen. They will return along with John Mooney, who joined the squad for the ODIs against Scotland at the weekend.
There were no selection surprises as coach Phil Simmons stuck to the squad that has performed so successfully during his tenure. "I've everyone available and I always maintain that with a full strength squad, we are a match for any country on our day. We've shown that with our results in the past, and we'll continue to do so in the future," Simmons said.
"I don't know if this is the best Ireland team ever, but we have a great bunch of talented cricketers who are playing with great confidence at the moment. We have got great depth in our batting, and plenty of options in the bowling as well. If we play well, then certainly we can beat England. They will be favourites for sure, but cricket has a nice habit of throwing up surprises."
Captain William Porterfield, who plays for Gloucestershire, was excited about leading his side out for the fixture. "It'll be a dream come true for me to step out over the boundary ropes in front of a packed crowd," Porterfield said. "I was 12th man when England last played here in 2006, so in three years I've gone from being a squad player to captaining my country, and leading from the front with the bat."
"There's sure to be a wonderful atmosphere on the day, and it's been good to hear that the tickets are now virtually sold out. With the crowd behind us, we can give England a real competitive game."
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, John Mooney, Kyle McCallan, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Regan West, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
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