Ireland have left Stuart Thompson
and Shane Getkate
out while naming an expanded 21-man squad for a three-match ODI series against England this month, while David Delany
is missing the trip as precaution following an injury.
, the South Africa-born allrounder who was awarded an emerging contract earlier this year, has been included in a senior squad for the first time after having represented Ireland A against Namibia in February, while there is another new face in legspinner Jonathan Garth
- whose sister Kim quit Irish cricket
to take up a contract with Cricket Victoria last month.
Ireland will arrive in Southampton on a charter flight from Dublin on July 18, and play an intra-squad warm-up match and a fixture against England Lions before the group is separated into a 14-man squad and seven reserves. They will play three ODIs - the first game in the new ODI Super League - at the Ageas Bowl, before returning to Dublin on August 5.
"The selectors were delighted to have been able to meet once more to select a squad for international action. We have lost so much cricket this year, so to have a series - let alone such a major series as this - to look forward to is a great relief for all," Andrew White, the chair of national men's selectors, said. "This lack of on-field action since March - and the short lead-in programme to the ODI series - influenced our thinking on the broader squad. However, the unique circumstances of the situation has allowed us to involve more players than we would normally bring on such a tour."
White also said that some players had been selected to "help our batters prepare for the type of opposition we'll be facing", which seemed like a nod to Garth's inclusion. He is one of two legspinners in the wider party alongside allrounder Gareth Delany, while England have also named two in their 24-man training group in Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson.
While a number of players like Stuart Thompson and Shane Getkate are unfortunate to not to be travelling, the experience that will be gained on this trip by a number of the younger players will be invaluable in their development
"The form shown by several players in the Caribbean in January, Wolves tour in February and the Afghan series in March really bolstered their case for selection," White said. "We're delighted that our top wicket-taker in 2019, Mark Adair, returns after recovering from ankle surgery, and feel we have the right squad balance for these important fixtures - keeping in mind that they are World Cup qualifiers."
Thompson and Getkate's exclusions might come as a surprise, not least given that both have central contracts for 2020-21 and that both have been regulars in white-ball squads in recent years.
"While a number of players like Stuart Thompson and Shane Getkate are unfortunate to not to be travelling, the experience that will be gained on this trip by a number of the younger players will be invaluable in their development," White said. "Additionally, David Delany was not considered for selection this time. As a result of his previous surgery, and the subsequent extended lockdown period, we were not fully confident that he has had the time to complete the necessary amount of preparation in order to safely play in these matches."
As well as the task at hand, several Ireland players will hope that strong performances in this series can provide them with a springboard towards contracts for the T20 Blast. Paul Stirling's overseas deal at Northants is one of only a handful yet to be cancelled in the competition, and ESPNcricinfo understands that some names in this squad have been floated to counties in recent weeks as possible options to replace their bigger overseas names.