George Henry Dockrell
July 22, 1992, Dublin
Right hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
George Dockrell was identified as a left-arm spinner of rare potential long before he was out of his teens. He made his international debut for Ireland as a 17-year-old in 2010. The accolade was made more remarkable by the fact that he had only been bowling spin for four years, having switched from bowling seam at the age of 13 after coach Brian O'Rourke spotted him bowling spin in a car park during an Ireland age group tour of Wales.
Dockrell immediately established himself as a key player in the Ireland side. He played a key role in Ireland's 2010 World Twenty20 campaign, blending nous with audacity as his flighted twirlers saw off Netherlands in the qualifying tournament before taking 3 for 16 against West Indies and choking England's middle-order with four overs for 19. School exams then prevented him facing Australia in an ODI but a month later he was offered a contract at Somerset, where he had had an association since the age of 15.
He made a big impact in just his second County Championship match, taking 6 for 27 to bowl Somerset to victory over Middlesex in their opening fixture of the 2012 season. He helped his side to another win later in the year with 6 for 29 against Durham as Somerset's finished runners-up again. He finished the season with 35 wickets at 28.45 but future seasons proved less successful and the Somerset coach at the time, Dave Nosworthy, suggested that his red-ball game was suffering through a surfeit of white ball cricket. Matt Maynard, Nosworthy's successor, seemed of similar mind, and Dockrell was released at the end of 2015 - ahead of a busy Ireland one-day summer the following year.
In 2012 he played in his second World T20 but after three overs of punishment in a bad-tempered defeat to Australia, Ireland's final group match was washed out and Dockrell didn't get a second chance to bowl. But his year ended on a better note when he was named the ICC Associate Player of the Year in 2012. A year later he booked his ticket back to the world stage by helping Ireland win the World T20 qualifier for Bangladesh 2014. That he was cramming in experience at a young age was further emphasised when Ireland qualified for the 2015 World Cup, but the prospect of a 10-team World Cup in England in 2019 left him as just one of many Ireland players with a sense of betrayal.
Dockrell learned his game at Leinster Cricket Club in Dublin and played age-group cricket for Ireland since Under-13s. He made his senior debut in 2010: a T20 against Afghanistan in Colombo, where he took 2 for 11; an ODI debut followed in the West Indies. He also captained Ireland Under-19s at the 2012 World Cup. All the while he has not neglected his education, and is studying general science at Trinity College, Dublin. His father, Derek, also represented Ireland in the days when the side was all-amateur and not allowed to qualify for the World Cup. George is playing in a very different era for Irish cricket.
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