Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
IRELAND will take 21 players to England for their 18-day stay which culminates in three one-day internationals against the world champions at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Mark Adair, who made his debut in the last ODI between the teams at Malahide in May last year, and finished as the leading wicket-taker in 2019, is available after ankle surgery and, unless there is any reaction, is certain to be included in the 14- man playing squad which will be named after the final warm-up game against England Lions on July 26.
The other seven players will stay on as cover given the protocols around the bio-secure venue and playing conditions.
There are two uncapped players in the squad, Curtis Campher, the 20-year-old South African Irish passport holder who impressed when called up to the Ireland Wolves squad for their games against Namibia in February, and JJ Garth, the 19-year old Pembroke leg spinner.
It means there is no place in the 21 for Jacob Mulder, who was hoping for a recall, and it will be a devastating blow to Shane Getkate and Stuart Thompson, who are both on full Irish contracts, not to make the enlarged squad.
Thompson, who will be playing for Civil Service North when the NCU season gets under way next Saturday, has not played an ODI since May 2017 but was set to make his comeback in the England ODI last year until he was forced to pull out after damaging his shoulder in training.
Getkate played all three ODIs against Zimbabwe last summer, taking six wickets in the series, but, like Thompson, was not selected for the West Indies tour in January.
The other notable absentee is David Delany, the Clontarf paceman, but here the selectors have taken a different view on a bowler who has had surgery over the winter.
Chairman of selectors Andrew White said: “As a result of this, and the subsequent extended lockdown period, we were not fully confident he has had the time to complete the necessary amount of preparation to safely play in these matches.”
The pace bowling contingent in the party includes Peter Chase and left-armer Josh Little, both on Emerging contracts, as well as Tyrone Kane, who has yet to make his ODI debut, but according to White they “will help our batters prepare for the type of opposition we’ll be facing”.
The squad leave Dublin next Saturday and have two practice games ahead of the day/night ODIs on July 30, August 1 and 4.
Squad: A Balbirnie (capt), P Stirling (v-capt), M Adair, C Campher, P Chase, G Delany, G Dockrell, J Garth, T Kane, J Little, A McBrine, B McCarthy, J McCollum, K O’Brien, W Porterfield, B Rankin, S Singh, H Tector, L Tucker, G Wilson, C Young.