Ireland news February 15, 2012

No place for Murtagh in Ireland squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tim Murtagh's Irish passport hasn't proved an immediate route into the Ireland team after he was left out of the 14-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the UAE. The squad includes 12 of the players who toured the subcontinent for the World Cup.

Murtagh, the Middlesex pace bowler, had recently become eligible for Ireland but had to content with a place among the reserve players for the tournament. Rory McCann was selected as the replacement for Niall O'Brien, who wasn't considered due to his participation in the Bangladesh Premier League which meant he didn't tour Kenya, while the allrounder Max Sorensen also made the cut.

Chairman of selectors Ross McCollum said: "We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification. It is indeed a very experienced squad, which we feel will serve us in good stead in high pressure games.

"While we haven't named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements, and we'll have no hesitation in bringing either in if any injuries occur. Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out, but we felt that given the prolific form that Rory McCann showed in domestic cricket in 2011 in the NCU, that he deserved his chance."

Ireland feature in Group B in the 16-team tournament alongside Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Uganda, Kenya, USA, and Italy. Two qualification places are on offer, for the World T20 in Sri Lanka in September.

Ireland will head to South Africa for a training camp following their current tour of Kenya. They will play three warm-up Twenty20s against the Warriors franchise before heading to UAE.