William Porterfield and Gary Wilson aren't in the 16-man Ireland squad which will play back-to-back series against UAE and Afghanistan next month.

Wilson has been granted paternity leave to be present at the birth of his second child, and the back-up keeper slot has been given to uncapped Rush and Ireland Wolves keeper-batsman Neil Rock.

(Neil Rock batting for Ireland U19)

Former skipper Porterfield and Malahide paceman Peter Chase are the only other players on full contracts not included.

There is no George Dockrell or Boyd Rankin either, but neither is a huge surprise given the former was only given a retainer contract for 2021, while the latter missed out on a deal altogether.

Clontarf speedster David Delany returns after missing the 2020 season after being injured during the T20 World Cup qualifiers last year.

Although the tour details aren't released yet, it's expected that the Irish will meet the hosts UAE in four ODI's in Abu Dhabi at the Sheikh Zayed stadium, which will serve as a warm-up for their three matches at the same venue against Afghanistan, which forms part of the World Cup Super League - a qualifying tournament for the 2023 World Cup.

The games will be the first Ireland have played since they beat England in early August, and coach Graham Ford is hoping to build on that success which also followed victories earlier in the year against Afghanistan and West Indies.

“It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year, but the lads have acquitted themselves well and can be proud of what they have managed to achieve.

"Those wins have helped build self-belief within the players and have demonstrated the progress we are making as a squad.

“We have two challenging series ahead of us, but we’re looking to create a sense of momentum going into a big year - a year that will feature multiple tours, a full home season and a T20 World Cup at the back end.”


Andrew Balbirnie (Captain) (Pembroke), Mark Adair (CIYMS), Curtis Campher (YMCA), David Delany (Clontarf), Gareth Delany (Leinster), Josh Little (Pembroke), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), James McCollum (Waringstown), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Neil Rock (Rush), Simi Singh (YMCA), Paul Stirling (North Down), Harry Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Craig Young (North Down).