Josh Little named in Ireland squad for Bangladesh ODIs
He is set to leave India on May 5 and will miss at least three of Gujarat Titans' matches in the ongoing IPL
Josh Little has been included in a full-strength Ireland squad for May's ODI series against Bangladesh at Chelmsford, a series they must win 3-0 to qualify automatically for the 50-over World Cup at South Africa's expense.
Little, the left-arm seamer, became the first active Ireland international to play in the IPL earlier this month, representing defending champions Gujarat Titans, and is expected to miss at least three of their upcoming fixtures.
Little is due to leave India after Titans' fixture against Rajasthan Royals on May 5, and will miss their games against Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad in order to play against Bangladesh.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Cricket Ireland's intention is for Little to feature in all three matches, even if they suffer a defeat that would rule them out of contention for automatic World Cup qualification and render the final games of the series dead-rubbers.
Little is centrally contracted by Cricket Ireland, but his captain Andy Balbirnie admitted recently that the INR 4.4 crore (€500,000 approx.) he will pick up from his IPL contract "could take five, six, or even more years to earn while playing for Ireland."
He was granted leave to miss the recent tour to Bangladesh and the ongoing Test series in Sri Lanka in order to play in the IPL, but his availability for international cricket remains a matter of ongoing discussion between him, his representatives and the national board.
Mustafizur Rahman (Delhi Capitals) and Litton Das (Kolkata Knight Riders) are also due to miss around 10 days of the IPL due to their involvement in the series, having been named in Bangladesh's squad earlier this month.
Ireland's squad also includes Craig Young, who has missed the vast majority of the 2022-23 winter due to injury but made a return in last month's T20I series in Bangladesh. Barry McCarthy, however, misses out due to a knee injury.
PJ Moor, who made his Test debut for Ireland in Bangladesh last month, has been named captain of an Ireland Wolves side that will play a behind-closed-doors warm-up match against the same opposition on May 5.
Ireland squad to play Bangladesh: Andy Balbirnie (capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Fixtures: May 9 - 1st ODI, May 12 - 2nd ODI, May 14 - 3rd ODI (all fixtures at Chelmsford).
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98