Australia A in England, Ireland and Scotland June 10, 2013

Kevin O'Brien to lead Ireland against Australia A

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland have named uncapped 19-year-old left-arm spinner Scott Campbell in their squad for the first-class match against the touring Australia A side that begins on Friday. In the absence of William Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien will captain Ireland, who have Trent Johnston and Max Sorensen fit after recent injuries.

Porterfield is among a group of first-choice players, including Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien and George Dockrell, who are not included due to county commitments, although Middlesex's Paul Stirling is included. Cricket Ireland has announced that entry for the game at the Civil Service ground in Stormont will be free.

"Scott is the next spinner in line behind George Dockrell," Ireland coach Phil Simmons said. "He's impressed me when I've watched him bowl for Ireland A and the Under-19 side. These type of games against real top quality opposition will be vital for him in his cricketing development and will help him improve. I've said before that four-day cricket is where players really learn how to play the game, and it's great that the team are getting this type of exposure against high calibre opposition."

Johnston, who had been suffering from an Achilles problem, Sorensen (finger) and Peter Connell (hamstring) all passed fitness tests to be included in the 14-man squad. Last month, Ireland narrowly failed to beat Pakistan in their two-match ODI series; they also have an ODI against England scheduled for September.

O'Brien said: "It's always an honour to lead your country and I'm extremely proud to have been given the opportunity. There's no doubt that it will be tough against a team with ten Test players and seven of their Ashes squad. It's a great opportunity for our players and I'm sure they will take it. You always want to test yourself against the best and their bowling attack will certainly be amongst the toughest we've faced in international cricket. It should be a great spectacle of cricket and a challenge I'm certainly looking forward to."

Ireland could become the first international opposition for Fawad Ahmed, after the Pakistan-born spinner was added to the Australia A squad ahead of an anticipated Ashes call up. On Sunday, Australia A completed a crushing, 360-run win over Scotland, although Ireland will be expected to provide stiffer opposition. The tour concludes with a three-day game against Gloucestershire, starting on June 21.

Ireland squad Kevin O'Brien (captain), John Anderson, Scott Campbell, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, Phil Eaglestone, Trent Johnston, John Mooney, Stuart Poynter, James Shannon, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White

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  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    @Meety, agree 100%. The counties should and have been releasing players for full internationals, but in my view that is enough, otherwise they'll never be there.

    I wonder if Maxy Klinger will play in the Glocs match? He has hit three FC tons so far this season!

  • Andrew on June 12, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    @Jono Makim - I don't think the Counties should necessarily release Irish/Scottish players for these types of matches, but for ODIs & Intercontinental - they sure should. I think Ireland players in the County system is a clear advantage for Ireland over other Afiliate/Asociate teams. I would hate to see the Glocs match devalued by withdrawal of players, the ECB didn't do that with the Lions v NZ match & OZ doesn't do that either. Would of preferrred that Dockrell in particular had played.

  • Virendra on June 11, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Cricinfo lists SA Britton as a right arm Fast Bowler .Is he not good enough to represent Ireland . This looks like an Ireland A side . Hope they put a decent fight and take the mactch till the last day. Is Bangladesh coming to Ireland this summer?

  • Dummy4 on June 11, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Its a two way street, can't really expect the Counties to keep releasing players every time Ireland plays. It will give the next level of Irish cricketers a good chance to experience some testing cricket. Not much use for the Aussies though, they are not going to be tested here, Gloucestershire you'd think will rest their better players too. I think most Aussie fans were probably hoping for a little more out of this A tour than a few warm ups, still its better than nothing and is a good boost to the local cricket I guess.

  • Tony on June 11, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    I don't think that Morgan and Rankin are qualified for Ireland any longer (and that was their choice). But you can add Tim Murtagh and Gary Wilson to the list. In any case, surely it's the counties who choose to release players, not England.

  • Cricket Fan on June 11, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    GIVE opportunity to youngsters along with experienced players like KEVIN OBREIN and JONSTON. Good luck ireland

  • Luke on June 11, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    It's a disgrace that Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan, George Dockrell and Boyd Rankin aren't playing. England should be ashamed of themselves, they are holding Ireland back from possible Test status in the future.

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