Injured Cusack out of England ODI
Ireland will be without the experience of Alex Cusack when they take on England next month, after the allrounder was ruled out with a back injury. He has been rested from domestic cricket in recent weeks but will not be fit for the September 3 ODI.
Cusack has played 50 ODIs for Ireland, taking 52 wickets with his right-arm medium pace to go with 679 runs at 22.63. He shared a sixth-wicket stand of 162 with Kevin O'Brien, scoring 47, during Ireland's famous victory over England in Bangalore at the 2011 World Cup.
"It's certainly disappointing for Alex to miss the game as he's an important player for us, particularly in the Powerplays," Ireland's coach, Phil Simmons, said. "However, we have strength in depth now and it'll give one of the other guys a chance to shine. We are blessed with a number of very talented allrounders so have plenty of cover in that department."
The match against England will mark the opening of Ireland's redeveloped ground at Malahide, which has had its capacity increased to 11,000. With three weeks to go, tickets are still available on the Cricket Ireland website but well over half of the allocation has already been sold and Simmons said that anticipation was building.
"We've seen just how well the tickets have gone with over 7,000 sold already," Simmons said. "It's going to the biggest match ever held in Ireland, and there will be a fantastic atmosphere at the new international venue at Malahide. It's my home town and I know just how much of a buzz there is around the place to have the Ashes winners coming here. It'll be a magnificent occasion, and hopefully we'll give the Irish fans another day to remember."
Despite losing to Ireland in a record run chase at the last World Cup, England have won on each of their four visits to play ODIs. As in 2009, England will arrive in Ireland having won the Ashes - and on that occasion their winning margin was just three runs in a rain-affected game.