CURTIS CAMPHER is the surprise inclusion in a 21-man Ireland training squad that will fly to Southampton next week for an intensive practice camp ahead of a three-match ODI series with England that starts on July 30.
Campher, a former South Africa U19 all-rounder, holds an Irish passport and was controversially awarded an Emerging Player contract ahead of his debut for Ireland Wolves in February, without having played a match in his adopted country.
The 21-year-old impressed with scores of 45, 62 not out and 54 for the Wolves against Namibia in Pretoria but despite signing to play for YMCA this summer he has still been unable to get on the field in a match in Dublin because of the coronavirus restrictions.
Jonathan Garth, the Pembroke leg-spinner and brother of women’s star Kim, is another who may not have been expecting a call from chairman of selectors Andy White, while recent first-team regulars Stuart Thompson and Shane Getkate have missed out.
“The short lead-in to the ODI series influenced our thinking on the broader squad,” White said. “The unique circumstances of the situation have allowed us to involve more players than we would normally bring on such a tour.
“We felt that the form shown by several players in the Caribbean in January and on the Wolves tour really bolstered their case for selection plus it’s great that our top wicket-taker in 2019, Mark Adair, is back after his ankle surgery.”
White feels that it was too soon for Clontarf speedster David Delany to return, with insufficient games behind him after injury, but believes he has found a good balance for the three matches which are Ireland’s first in the World Cup Super League.