Pregnant Ireland captain misses West Indies series

Ireland captain Heather Whelan will sit out the three-ODI series with West Indies this month as she is expecting a child. Isobel Joyce will lead the side for the first time for the series which begins on June 24 and also includes a Twenty20, with Nicki Coffey her vice captain. The former skipper Clare Shillington has also been named in the 12-player squad.

West Indies had managed to hastily arrange a tour of Ireland, England and Netherlands this summer in order to keep their World Cup ambitions on track. Although they had qualified for next year's tournament in Australia - the ultimate prize in women's cricket - they were in danger of missing out through having not played enough games.

The European nations have stepped in to help and the matches will be useful experience for Ireland, who have missed out on both the World Cup and the World Twenty20 in England. Only the teams who qualified for the World Cup got to play in Twenty20 competition, and Ireland failed in the qualifiers in South Africa earlier this year.

Squad Emma Beamish, Jean Carroll (wk), Nicki Coffey, Marianne Herbert, Cecelia Joyce, Amy Kenealy, Joanne McKinley, Ciara Metcalfe, Cathy Murphy, Eimear Richardson, Melissa Scott-Hayward, Clare Shillington.