Jesse Ryder, Ireland's overseas player from New Zealand, is unlikely to appear for them again after failing to turn up for the washed out Friends Provident match against Surrey at The Oval. Coach Phil Simmons has yet to find out the reasons behind Ryder's absence.
Ryder sent a text message saying he'd missed his flight, but Simmons said: "[I] have heard nothing since. I don't know what the real position is until I speak to his agent, but he should have been here. It's not acceptable to me, and I don't think he'll play for Ireland again."
An ICU spokesman told Cricinfo that Ryder had been due to catch an early morning flight from Liverpool, where he plays his club cricket for New Brighton, to London but sent the message to Simmons at about 10.30 on Sunday morning saying he hadn't made it.
Ryder, who signed for Ireland earlier this month, has indicated he'll turn his back on New Zealand cricket and try to forge a career in England.
Ireland have drafted in Gary Kidd, a 21-year-old left-arm spinner, to their squad as cover. "I haven't ruled out bringing in someone else for the final two games against Middlesex and Glamorgan," said Simmons. "We have a budget already in place for those games. Ideally someone based in England would be our preferred option.
"It'll give me a chance to take a look at Gary, whom I've heard good reports about. It's an opportunity for him to impress me, and I know he's a player who Adrian Birrell had a high opinion of."
Kidd was in the middle of a match for MCC Young Cricketers against Northamptonshire 2nd XI when he got the call from Simmons. "It came out of the blue. I was told to get to The Oval as fast as I could, and I didn't hesitate," he said. "I took 2 for 60 in 21 overs [for MCC] and felt that the ball was coming out well. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity to show Phil what I'm capable of."
Kidd has one cap for Ireland, playing against MCC in 2004. He was a reserve for Ireland's World Cup squad and has played successfully in two Under-19 World Cups and for Ireland A in the EurAsia Series in Abu Dhabi.