Merrion all-rounder Celeste Raack has been named in Ireland's squad for next month's T20 World Cup in the West Indies.
The 24 year-old Australian has played for both Tasmania Roar and Hobart Hurricanes alongside Angelsea Road colleague Isobel Joyce, and qualifies as an Irish passport holder.
Reflecting on her call-up to the squad, she said: “I am very excited and honoured to have been selected for Ireland for the World Cup.
"I am flying in on Friday to join the squad in their preparation for the tournament and am very much looking forward to it. I am hoping that this will be the start of a long career as an Irish cricketer and intend on relocating for the start of the 2019 cricket season.
“I played for the Typhoons in the Super 3’s competition this season. I really enjoyed the playing environment and the opportunity it provides for players to play in a competitive and challenging series.
"Playing with and against Irish international players in this series really improved my cricket and bowling on Irish wickets was a different challenge to those I’ve played on in Australia.”
Raack is part of an experienced 15-player squad, which has collectively more than 1,000 international appearances.
The Joyce sisters, Clare Shillington, keeper Mary Waldron and skipper Laura Delany have all played over 100 times for the Girls in Green.
Aaron Hamilton, Head Coach of the Ireland Women’s national team, said: “It’s a great squad, one which is both a reward for performance and an acknowledgement at how important big game experience is at international tournaments. When you’re at a world cup with the TV cameras, big crowds and big venues, you need to ensure the younger players are surrounded by experienced heads.
“It’s important that every player is there on their merits and every player is contributing – and for senior players it’s all about the example they set. You just have to look at Clare Shillington – she may be Ireland’s longest serving member, Ireland’s highest run scorer and recently announced she would be retiring after this tournament - but she is still showing the same commitment to her game that she always has, and it has shown on the pitch with her Player of the Tournament performances during the World T20 Qualifier.
“I’m also delighted that selectors have looked beyond and taken the chance of bringing leg-spinner Celeste Raack into the squad. She’s Australian-born but holds an Irish passport and we are delighted to welcome her into the international set-up.
“Celeste impressed many of us playing for the Typhoons in the Toyota Super 3’s Series this year, and has previously played for the Tasmanian Tigers women’s team in the Australian women’s domestic league, and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Women’s Big Bash League.”
IRELAND WOMEN T20 WORLD CUP SQUAD
- Laura Delany (captain) (Leinster)
- Kim Garth (Pembroke)
- Cecelia Joyce (Merrion)
- Isobel Joyce (Merrion)
- Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke)
- Amy Kenealy (Leinster)
- Gaby Lewis (YMCA)
- Lara Maritz (Clontarf)
- Ciara Metcalfe (YMCA)
- Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA)
- Celeste Raack (Merrion)
- Eimear Richardson (NZ based)
- Clare Shillington (Pembroke)
- Rebecca Stokell (Leinster)
- Mary Waldron (Malahide)
- 4 November: Bangladesh v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
- 7 November: Sri Lanka v Ireland, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
- 11 November: Australia v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
- 13 November: Pakistan v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
- 15 November: India v Ireland, Guyana (20:00 GMT)
- 17 November: New Zealand v Ireland, Guyana (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 18 Nov)
- 22 November: First semi-final, Antigua (20:00 GMT)
- 22 November: Second semi-final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 23 Nov)
- 24 November: Final, Antigua (d/n) (00:00 GMT, 25 Nov)