Ed Joyce was described as "a man on a mission" after being named in a full-strength Ireland squad for March's InterContinental Cup match against Afghanistan in India that could determine which side becomes the 11th Test-playing nation.

If the Boys in Green avoid defeat, they will be hot favourites to claim a fifth crown in six editions of the IC Cup, and with it the right to take on the lowest-ranked Full Member, probably Zimbabwe, in the Test Challenge - although the ICC could yet supersede their own pathway and elevate both Ireland and Afghanistan to the top table, perhaps even next month.

While Joyce, Tim Murtagh, John Anderson and Niall O'Brien all return after missing the Desert T20 Challenge, the exciting inclusion in the 14-man squad is that of 20-year-old leg-spinner Jacob Mulder, who was the leading wicket-taker in the United Arab Emirates tournament.

"Ed Joyce has been in supreme form in the tournament with two double hundreds and he clearly looks like a man on a mission," said coach John Bracewell.

Ireland will play two one-day internationals against the UAE in Dubai prior to three T20s and five ODIs against Afghanistan followed by the IC Cup game.