Ed Joyce, the former England batsman who also plays for Sussex, has been picked in the 15-man Ireland squad for the 2011 World Cup. Ireland, led by batsman William Porterfield, have also selected allrounder Alex Cusack and seamer Boyd Rankin, players who didn't feature in their last ODI assignment, a lost series against Zimbabwe in September. Rankin, who was Ireland's leading wicket-taker in the 2007 World Cup, has recovered from a stress fracture in his foot that has kept him out of the team since July 2010.
Joyce, who last played an ODI in 2007, was cleared by the ICC in November 2010 to represent Ireland, the country of his birth, and he subsequently joined the team in a pre-World Cup preparation camp in India. Joyce has played 17 ODIs for England, averaging 27.70, though he's been a prolific run-getter on the List A and first-class circuit.
Ireland surprised one and all in the 2007 World Cup, knocking Pakistan out of the league stage, qualifying for the Super Eights and beating Bangladesh. Nine Irish players who featured in that tournament are part of the 2011 World Cup squad.
"I like the balance of the squad. As with most Irish teams of the past few years, there are quite a few allrounders, and that gives us plenty of options in all departments," Ireland coach Phil Simmons was quoted as saying in a release. "What is different this time, from 2007, is that 13 of the 15 earn their living from cricket - that's practically a full-time squad.
"We were also able to spend a month in India acclimatising, and that will stand us in good stead."
Porterfield added: "There has been a lot of hard work put in over the past few weeks and months and being in India in November for the training has really helped the lads in getting to where they want to be."
Ireland travel to Dubai for a training camp on January 28, and play warm-up games against New Zealand and Zimbabwe in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Niall O'Brien (wk), Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, John Mooney, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson (wk), Andrew White, Ed Joyce.