Uncapped 21-year-old allrounder Stuart Thompson has been included in an otherwise experienced 15-member Ireland squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, in which only Thompson, Tim Murtagh and Max Sorensen haven't played in a previous World Cup or World Twenty20. The team will be led by William Porterfield.
Ireland Coach Phil Simmons said that representing Ireland will be a big opportunity for Thompson, who is part of the Ireland XI team that is currently playing South Africa A at home. "He's done well at A team level and in the few senior games he's played this year," Simmons said. "It's up to him to push and cement his place in the squad."
Simmons also expressed satisfaction at the composition of the team. "Everybody has been there before and knows what's expected of them," he said. "It's good for the younger players who will learn how we do things and how we proceed at tournaments."
The Ireland squad will be without the services of John Mooney, who was ruled out because of a serious finger fracture. Simmons said that losing Mooney a day before team selection was a serious blow. "It's disappointing for both John [Mooney] and the team. He's suffered two finger injuries and this latest one won't heal in time for the start of the tournament. He's been a major part of the team for the last 3 or 4 years and it's disappointing we have to go without him.
"This will give others other an opportunity to push for his place and stake a claim. We have guys who can come in and fill the spot and if selected can hopefully fill the role of John Mooney."
Ireland are placed in Group B with Australia, whom they play on September 19 in Colombo, and West Indies.