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June 4, 2010
Ireland will be without teenage left-arm spinner George Dockrell, who impressed during the World Twenty20, when they take on Australia in an ODI on June 17. Cricket Ireland named 13 players for the one-off match in Clontarf and the only ones missing from the squad that went to the Caribbean are Dockrell and Nigel Jones.
"It's a pity that George can't make the game, but he has exams which are obviously important to his future," Ireland coach Phil Simmons said. "He'd been bowling really well and settled in superbly to international cricket. That has helped us offset the retirement of Kyle McCallan, and the injuries to Regan West."
Wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien had decided to postpone surgery on a fractured finger so that he would be able to play Australia.
Simmons said playing Australia was a chance for his players to showcase their talents and added that, though Ireland may have lost that "surprise factor" when playing Full member countries now, they had "certainly gained their respect". "We're playing on home soil, in familiar conditions, and with the backing of our home fans. No-one treats us lightly any more, as they know if their game drops, we are ready to pounce.
"I'll be looking for the players to play with the same intensity that they showed in the West Indies. We did really well in the field against both West Indies and the eventual winners England."
William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, said his players had been talking about playing Australia since the fixture was announced. "You can't help but be motivated by the chance to play the world champions, especially in front of the home supporters," he said. "We all had a month together in the West Indies, and that tour was fantastic for both team spirit and preparing the squad for the international year ahead. There may be a few cobwebs as it'll be six weeks since our last game, but everyone has been playing some sort of cricket. With the majority of the squad being full-time in cricket now, I don't think there'll be any problems with rustiness.
"It'll be a great experience playing against players of the calibre of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey and Mitchell Johnson. We'll certainly not be overawed though - we've played in three world cups now, and have got over that stage of our careers. It'll be a great occasion for everybody in Irish cricket, and hopefully a day to remember."
Squad: William Porterfield (capt), Trent Johnston, Andre Botha, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, Gary Kidd, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
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