Pakistan in Ireland, 2011 May 19, 2011

Niall McDonnell included for Pakistan ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Uncapped opening batsman Niall McDonnell has been included in Ireland's 14-man squad for the upcoming two-match ODI series against Pakistan.

The squad includes 13 of the 15 players who were part of Ireland's World Cup campaign. The two players to miss out are left-arm spinner George Dockrell, who dislocated his shoulder during the World Cup match against Netherlands on March 18, and still hasn't recovered from the injury, and allrounder Andre Botha, who announced his retirement from internationals earlier this month.

Former New Zealand batsman Hamish Marshall, who became eligible to play for Ireland in April, was not considered because of a fractured right thumb sustained while playing for Gloucestershire against Middlesex earlier this month.

McDonnell, 31, scored a century for Ireland A against MCC in August last year and reacted with delight to his call-up. "I can honestly say that I can't find a word to describe how I felt when Peter Gillespie rang me," McDonnell said.

"I suppose it was a mixture of excitement, raw nerves and a little trepidation at being involved at this level. It's a dream come true in many ways and the prospect of batting with the likes of Paul Stirling, William Porterfield or Ed Joyce is some motivation."

Coach Phil Simmons said a strong performance against Pakistan would boost Ireland's chances for the 2015 World Cup with a decision still pending on a qualification tournament for the tournament.

"Everyone is aware of the importance of these games, not just in terms of ranking points but also in the bigger scheme of things with a decision pending on a qualification tournament for the 2015 World Cup. Two more strong performances against Pakistan will help in that regard.

"The 2007 World Cup win against Pakistan was the catalyst for the exponential growth for Irish cricket. I can see no reason why we can't repeat that success on home soil given the talent we now possess in our ranks.

"There aren't a lot of surprises [in the squad] as we haven't had any cricket since the World Cup finished. We'll train hard in the build-up to the game, and hopefully the conditions at Stormont will suit us. The county players have been playing some excellent cricket, and most of them seem to be in really good form which is encouraging for Irish cricket."

The two ODIs will be played on May 28 and 30 in Stormont.

Squad: William Porterfield, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, Niall McDonnell, John Mooney, Kevin O`Brien, Niall O`Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert Van der Merwe, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

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  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    I have a big feeling we could do something big here in this series and win it, it will be hard but we can do it, YES WE CAN! :)...

  • Bijoy on May 21, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    I believe tjis team is going to be the next best thing in International Cricket. I would love to see ICC making strict regulation to control the flow of players to england.Really unfortunate to miss Eoin Morgan for Ireland cricket superb player, a class act just plucked by england really sad. I feel if was also around then this team could have an immense force perterfield,stirling,joyce,marshall,morgan,n.obrien,k obrien,mooney,johnsten,dockrell,rankin just look at this team real time players unfrotunatively they dont have morgan eith them now but i think wilson is a good player any ways GO Ireland GO !!! Prove the world you are hear to stay appreciate the efforts from Cricket board of ireland as well as simmons.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    thanks colm ..although ..i think absence of marshall wont make much difference as ireland has plenty of gud batters ..but loosing dockrell is surely a huge blow ..he is a world class bowler at such a young age ..and as they say spinners mature more as they get older ..i hope they win atleast 1 match if not the series and put a strong statement in front of ICC ..go ireland go !!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    yaa colm ...i m not sure abt hamish as ireland has plenty of gud batters ..but dockrell absence is a real blow ..he is a world class bowler ...i totally want them to win ..1 match atleast if not the series ..and put a strong statement in front of ICC ...go ireland go !!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    I'm with you Tejus, good team and there could be a upset or two on the cards in this series, strong squad by Ireland, such a pity Dockrell isn't there and Marshall, still a good team, c'mon Ireland :)...

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    playing 11 shud b ... captain class - william porterfiled mini dynamo-paul stirling mr dependant-ed joyce unsung hero -nial o brien karizmatic-gary wilson rampant-kevin o brien mr cool - alex cusack macho man ..john mooney irish star -trent johnston rising star -albert van der merwe and the very best -boyd rankin

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