Hamish Marshall's international future in jeopardy
Hamish Marshall's Ireland future was in doubt after financial complications emerged following his qualification for the country. Though Marshall, who was born in Auckland, completed the qualification period to play for Ireland in April, he wasn't considered for selection for any of Ireland's forthcoming engagements this summer as he is technically also eligible to play for England.
His nominal England qualification releases significant payment to his county, Gloucestershire, from the ECB under regulations that award a stipend for including England-qualified players. Playing for Ireland in the upcoming matches would jeopardise these payments, which Cricket Ireland suggested "would be unreasonable on Gloucestershire within a budgetary cycle".
"Since Cricket Ireland, for a similar budgetary reason, is unable to compensate Gloucestershire for their financial loss, Hamish's ability to play for Ireland in the short-term will remain under review," explained CI chief executive Warren Deutrom. "We shall remain in consultation with Hamish, Gloucestershire CCC and ECB over the coming weeks to determine how best to resolve the matter."
Marshall, 32, played the last of 66 ODIs against Ireland at the 2007 World Cup. He turned down a national contract with New Zealand ahead of the 2007-08 season so he could pursue a career in English domestic cricket as a local player, and also used his Irish passport to qualify for the Ireland team.
Marshall had hoped to resume his international career at the World Cup in India earlier this year, but he hadn't quite completed the requisite four-year qualification by the time the tournament began and was denied a special dispensation to play by the ICC. The current complications will delay his comeback even further.
Marshall's presence would have leant considerable experience to the Intercontinental Cup squad to face Namibia in Belfast at the end of June, as that group includes no fewer than five uncapped players. Graeme McCarter, the 18-year-old Ireland Under-19 seamer who signed a two-year contract with Gloucestershire in November 2010, has been called up for the first time, as has 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Stuart Poynter. Poynter has been in impressive form this season with MCC Young Cricketers, and the Ireland selectors have reportedly received glowing reports.
Stuart Thompson, a 19-year-old allrounder, gets the opportunity to follow in his father Nigel's footsteps, the senior Thompson having played 18 times for Ireland between 1988 and 1992. Strabane opener Niall McDonnell, who was part of the squad for the ODI series against Pakistan in May but didn't make a starting XI, is the fifth member yet to be capped at the senior level.
Trent Johnston will captain the side for the 61st time in the absence of regular captain William Porterfield. Warwickshire batsman Porterfield is back at the helm for the limited-overs games against Namibia and the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Scotland in Edinburgh in July, and will be joined by county colleagues Niall O'Brien, Gary Wilson, and Boyd Rankin. Nigel Jones also features in the 14, having missed out on the four-day squad due to work commitments.
The one-day squad has a more familiar look to it, with no fewer than 12 of the 15 who took part in the World Cup included, but Ed Joyce isn't available due to personal reasons and offspinner Albert van der Merwe continues to recuperate from his elbow injury. O'Brien will miss the ODI against Scotland on July 12, and Wilson will miss the one-day fixture against Namibia on July 4, both due to county commitments.
Intercontinental Cup squad Trent Johnston (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Chris Dougherty, John Mooney, Graeme McCarter, Niall McDonnell, Kevin O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White.
Limited-overs squad for Namibia and tri-series William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, John Mooney, Graeme McCarter, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.