Dublin, May 24 (IANS) Cricket Ireland on Wednesday announced that right-handed batter Stephen Doheny has missed out from the 15-player squad to be captained by Andrew Balbirnie for the upcoming ICC Mens Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
The Qualifier event, to be held in Zimbabwe from June 18-July 9, will see 10 teams competing for two remaining spots in the ten-team 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, to be held in India from October-November.
“Unfortunately, hard decisions had to be made, and Stephen Doheny misses out on this trip. Stephen is a player we admire and want to continue to invest in, but we think the time is right for him, just now, to take a step back and work on a few technical aspects of his game at the domestic level.”
Qualifier events are tough, cut-throat competitions at times and a balance of talent, form and experience is essential. We believe we have achieved that and I know that Irish supporters will be right behind the players and staff in their quest for World Cup qualification,” said Andrew White, Ireland National Men’s Selector, in an official statement.
Ireland are in Group B alongside 1996 World Cup winners Sri Lanka, Scotland, Oman and United Arab Emirates, while Group A comprises hosts Zimbabwe, 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners West Indies, Netherlands, Nepal and United States.
Each side will play the other teams in their group once with the top three from each group progressing to the Super Six stage. In the Super Six, they will play the sides they did not meet in the group stage.
“We’re heading into a big few months and it’s looking at what personnel we need from a tactical point of view, who are in form, and a squad composition that suits the conditions we are likely to face. In the latter stages of the tournament, for example, we are likely to be playing on used pitches, so that’s where we see the value of a Ben White coming to the fore.
But before we look too far ahead, we have to start well and we’ve put together what we think is our best squad to meet that challenge. With a seam attack of Adair, Little, Young, McCarthy, Hume and Campher we feel we’re heading towards our best attack once more, while PJ Moor’s experience in Zimbabwean conditions and his versatility batting anywhere from 1 to 7 gives us great cover,” added White.
All points won in the group stage will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the teams that fail to make it to the Super Six stage. The two top teams after the Super Six stage will contest the final, and will both progress to the main ODI World Cup event in India.
For the first time in this tournament, DRS will be used for all matches from the Super Six stage onwards. Ireland have warm-up matches against USA and Netherlands on June 13 and 15 respectively, before playing in their Group-stage matches from June 19-27. Super Six matches begin from June 29.
Ireland squad: Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, PJ Moor, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White and Craig Young.