Simi Singh picked as third spinner as Ireland announce T20 World Cup squad

Dublin (Ireland), Sep 20 (IANS) Off-spinner Simi Singh was on Tuesday selected ahead of Andy McBrine as the third spinner in the Ireland squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia starting next month.

With George Dockrell and Gareth Delany doing well this season, the selectors decided to pick one spinner in the 15-member squad and Simi Singh got the nod.

“One of the most considered decisions we had to make was around our spin bowling options. With George Dockrell and Gareth Delany both having an impact this summer and the variation they bring to the attack, it came down to making a choice between Simi Singh and Andy McBrine.

“Andy can feel very unfortunate to have missed out this time, but we believe Simi offers more variation on Australian wickets with his ability to take the ball away from both right and left-handers,” Cricket Ireland’s chief selector Andrew White said.

This will be the first major tournament under Head Coach Heinrich Malan and follows a series win for Ireland against Afghanistan in August at Stormont.

“We believe this is one of the strongest T20 squads we have sent to a World Cup and wish the team and coaching staff well for the tournament ahead,” Andrew White added.

Andrew Balbirnie will lead the 15-member squad that includes top players like Paul Sterling, Curtis Campher, Stephen Doheny and Craig Young.

“It’s an exciting time for Irish cricket as we embark on another major global tournament. Over the last year, we have been building a solid core squad, while creating more depth in our T20 cricket. I think fans have started to see the positive strides the players have been making in this format – especially with the series win over Afghanistan – and we hope we can take this momentum into the tournament in Australia,” the Irish chief selector said.

Andrew White pointed at the recent performances of middle-order batters Harry Tector and George Dockrell as the most pleasing aspect of Ireland’s recent performances.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of our recent performances is the way the middle order has stepped up – particularly the likes of Harry Tector and George Dockrell. The label ‘finisher’ is often overused, but George’s reinvention, in particular, has been pivotal in recent successes – his experience and calmness under pressure will be indispensable as we move into competitive action,” he added.

The squad departs on September 29 and will travel to Sydney where it will play a three-match warm-up series hosted by Randwick Petersham Cricket Club, before the event support period starting on October 9, Cricket Ireland said in a release on Tuesday.

Ireland will then travel to Melbourne to play two official ICC Men’s T20 World Cup warm-up matches against Namibia and Sri Lanka, before moving to Hobart for the first round of the tournament, where they are placed alongside West Indies, Scotland and Zimbabwe.

Ireland Men’s T20 World Cup squad

Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Paul Stirling (vice-captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.

Coaching and support staff:

Head Coach: Heinrich Malan; Team Operations Manager: Chris Siddell; Coaches: Gary Wilson, Ryan Eagleson, Nathan Hauritz; Physiotherapist: Mark Rausa; Strength & Conditioning: Brendan Connor; Performance Analyst: Scott Irvine; Team Doctor: Anthony Perera; Performance Psychologist: Michael Caulfield; Media Manager: Craig Easdown.



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