Shane Getkate called into Ireland squad for UAE, Afghanistan ODIs
Uncapped Conor Olphert also flies out as net bowler after injury to David Delany
Ireland have added Shane Getkate to their squad to play the UAE and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi after an injury to David Delany, with the uncapped Conor Olphert also flying out as a net bowler.
Delany, the fast bowler, was in line to win his first ODI cap at some stage on the tour, but flew home last week after experiencing sudden pain in his left knee - which has previously caused him trouble - in the nets.
Josh Little flew out to join the squad following Delany's injury, having missed the squad's initial departure following a positive Covid test in December. He is technically available for Tuesday's second ODI after completing his quarantine period, though is unlikely to be thrown in before completing a training session.
Getkate, who last played for Ireland in a T20I against Afghanistan in March 2020, has now been added to provide the squad with an all-round option, though will miss the second and third ODIs against UAE while in quarantine. "I'm really looking forward to getting out there - it certainly makes a nice change from indoor training," he said.
Olphert, a 24-year-old seamer, has only made one appearance at interprovincial level for the North-West Warriors, and has been flown out as a net bowler, with Covid restrictions denying teams the chance to invite local players to training.
"To be honest, I'm completely shocked," he said. "I really appreciate the opportunity to go out to the UAE. It's not something I'd ever thought I'd get a chance to do, so I'm determined to make the most of the opportunity."
Both Olphert and Getkate tested negative before departure from Ireland and on arrival in the UAE.
The second ODI against the UAE was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday after a third UAE player, Alishan Sharafu, tested positive for Covid. It is due to be played on a fresh pitch, but Ireland allrounder Curtis Campher said he expected another slow surface.
"I'd expect the same conditions of being slow and tough to score on," Campher said. "It'll be about being patient and banging on that hard length and making it tough for batters to score, and if we get a chance to get in their first tomorrow it will be about getting a good total on the board."
Ireland are 1-0 down in the four-match series after maiden centuries from Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman saw the UAE home in the first ODI. Their three-match World Cup Super League series against Afghanistan starts on January 21, with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi all leaving the BBL this week in order to feature for the opposition.
Ireland ODI squad to play UAE and Afghanistan: Andy Balbirnie (capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O'Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98