Ireland name squad for Netherlands tour
Ireland have named an unchanged squad from the one that took on Pakistan in June, for their crucial World Cup qualifier matches against The Netherlands in July. Ireland need to win both ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCL) fixtures in order to secure automatic qualification for the World Cup and become the first Associate nation to qualify for the tournament.
Presently, Ireland are on top of the WCL table with 17 points, while Netherlands are second with 14 points. Ireland will play their Intercontinental Cup match in Deventer from July 1 to 4, and then a few days later will compete in two WCL matches on July 7 and 9 in Amstelveen. Ireland are also currently on top of the Intercontinental Cup standings, with 76 points, which is 12 more than second-placed Afghanistan. The Netherlands are in sixth position with 33 points.
Phil Simmons, the Ireland coach, understated the importance of the upcoming matches. "Without a doubt these matches are the most crucial we'll play this year," he said. "While it's always fantastic to have fixtures against Full Members, qualification for global tournaments is the main goal. It's vital we keep performing on the world stage and show everyone just how far Irish cricket has come.
"It's no secret that I like having seasoned players freshened up with a sprinkling of youth. We have a settled squad now, with most of the players having played at least 100 times.
"They are used to handling pressure, having played in World Cups, and that will stand them in good stead as the qualifying tournament enters its final stages. I want the team to finish strongly with four wins - that's our aim. We want not only to win the competition, but to do it convincingly with 25 points."
Ireland ICC Intercontinental Cup squad
Kevin O'Brien (capt.), John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Phil Eaglestone, Trent Johnston, John Mooney, James Shannon, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White, Stuart Poynter (wk).
Ireland ICC World Cricket League Championship 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 (wk).
Netherlands ICC Intercontinental Cup squad
Peter Borren (capt.), Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Tom Cooper, Tom de Grooth, Tim Gruijters, Timm van der Gugten, Ahsan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar and Michael Swart, Wesley Barresi (wk).
Netherlands ICC World Cricket League Championship squad
Peter Borren (capt), Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Tom Cooper, Ahsan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Edgar Schiferli, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski, Wesley Barresi (wk).