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Ireland resume World Cup quest

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 21, 2012

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Kevin O'Brien steered his side home with a quick 30, Ireland v Netherlands, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, preliminary final, Dubai, March 23, 2012
Kevin O'Brien will captain Ireland in the Intercontinental cup match with Afghanistan © ICC/Ian Jacobs

Ireland resume their quest to qualify for the 2015 World Cup next month with two World Cricket League ODIs against Afghanistan. It is their first series since securing a place at the World T20 with victory in the qualifying event in the UAE.

Stuart Thompson, a 20-year-old allrounder, has been added to the squad for the two matches on July 3 and 5 at Clontarf. Thompson has been rewarded for his form for Ireland A, scoring 93 in helping his side to a record chase against Gloucestershire second XI and making 71 against Scotland A.

"Stuart's been very impressive this season and has a sound technique which will stand him in good stead at the higher level," Ireland coach Phil Simmons said of Thompson's inclusion. "He's also bowled pretty well at times and gives the squad plenty of options.

"These are two vital games - two wins would put us in a fantastic position to qualify but we're well aware of just how dangerous Afghanistan can be. We've had some tremendous tussles with them over the past few years."

Ireland currently lie joint top of the World Cricket League Championship with five wins from their first six games. Afghanistan are joint fifth with three wins from six games. The top two from the Championship automatically qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

Ireland also play an Intercontinental cup match against Afghanistan from July 9 to 12 at Rathmines, where Kevin O'Brien will captain a much-changed squad.

Ireland v Afghanistan, World Cricket League Championship, Clontarf, July 3 and 5

William Porterfield (capt), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White, Gary Wilson

Ireland v Afghanistan, InterContinental Cup, Rathmines, July 9-12

Kevin O'Brien (capt), John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Rory McCann, John Mooney, Paul Stirling, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Albert Van der Merwe, Andrew White, Ben Wylie

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

@AKS286...LOL I pretty much doubt it but I do agree these teams should get more opportunities to play against them at least in T20s and ODIs so they can learn and gain experience.

Posted by AKS286 on (June 23, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

IRISH, DUTCH, NAMIBIA & AFGHAN i want to see all 4 teams in test cricket and these team will beat WI, PAK, NZ, BAN. best of luck all teams and ICC has to provide extra facilities to these teams.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

There is no Hamid Hassan ,Nawroz Mangal (captain) ,Noor Ali ,Merwais Ashraf in Afghanistan's squad .All of them are injured .I hope for a best show from Afghanistan .Afghanistan is the only team at Associate and Affiliate level that can beat Ireland .

Posted by EnglishCricket on (June 21, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

My strong advice for the ICC is to allow the Associate teams to play some games every year against the top 10 full members especially against the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh so that not only the Associates are getting exposure but the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are getting plenty of Cricket too and that way Cricket will become competitive and interesting and can only be good for Cricket as a whole. In fact, we're already seeing such things happening with Ireland proposing to play between 12-15 ODIs a year against the full members, Bangladesh playing 5 T20s against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands, England helping developing countries around their area i.e. Ireland and Scotland and later this year England will be playing an ODI each against them so that is good to see. Also Pakistan played an ODI against Afghanistan so such things should be encouraged.

Posted by Hattrick_Capes on (June 21, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

It's a shame that the Intercontinental side is so under-strength because of county commitments. Hopefully, the team that takes on South Africa A will be full strength.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

It's great to see Thompson promoted to the senior side. While the squad is still strong for the four-day game with Afghanistan.

We still have Kevin O'Brien, Cusack, TJ, JM, Stirlo, Max, Albert and White. Mixed with the likes of Balbirnie, Anderson etc, looks good to me.

It's vital that we have the county guys free for the ODIs also :)

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