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February 15, 2013
Ireland schedule in UAE
Ireland will take part in a nine-day training camp, including a warm-up match against Canada, ahead of their Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League fixtures against the UAE in March. John Mooney returns after missing the World Twenty20 with a hand injury as part of an experienced 14-man squad.
Ireland currently lead the standings in both competitions, with the top two teams in the WCL Championship securing spots at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. UAE are fourth in the WCL but only a point behind second-placed Scotland.
"It's pretty much among expected lines," Ireland coach, Phil Simmons, said of the squad selection. "These games are vital in our quest to gain one of the two automatic World Cup qualification places. Nine of our squad have played for their country 100 times or more, and eleven of them have World Cup experience.
"It was a difficult decision to leave out Stuart Thompson, but the selectors felt we had enough seam bowling allrounders in the squad already, so we went for the extra batting cover that James Shannon provides. He's worked incredibly hard and deserves his chance having missed out on the tour to Sri Lanka.
"The conditions are going to be tough and UAE have shown they're difficult to beat on home soil with the wins last year against Afghanistan. We've an excellent track record against them though, and I'd be confident of picking up the wins we need to stay top of both tables."
With the support of the ICC's high performance programme, the Ireland players will train at the Global Cricket Academy in Dubai, where the two-day game with Canada will be played, before moving on to Sharjah for the fixtures against UAE.
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, James Shannon, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson
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