Cricket Ireland on Wednesday announced a 14-member squad for the two-match T20I series against India. Andrew Balbirnie was named as the captain of the side that has two first-timers - top-order batter Stephen Doheny and pace bowler Conor Olphert. Notably, India will tour Ireland in June.
Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors also shed light on the squad and expressed happiness at hosting India for a T20I series. “There aren’t many better challenges for a new national coach to have than to start your tenure against the world’s number one-ranked T20I side, India,” said White in a statement released by Cricket Ireland.
He further talked about the squad and said he is delighted to see a few new faces. “The T20I squad features a familiar core to the squad, but it’s pleasing to see a number of new faces earn their call-ups in Stephen Doheny and Conor Olphert,” added White.
Notably, Stephen Doheny, 23, plays his club cricket with Merrion and is the current leading run-scorer in the Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy competition with 158 runs at an average of 52.67, with a highest score of 74*. Doheny has also scored valuable runs at the top of the order in the 50-over inter-provincial competition, with 146 runs at 36.50 with a highest score of 97.
Olphert, 25, plays for Bready at club level, and while he made his List A debut in 2020, the current season has been his most eye-catching. The pace bowler, renowned for his pace and bounce, was taken as a net bowler on Ireland Men’s tour to the UAE on early 2021. He has claimed 6 wickets at 19.17 in the Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy so far and has also bagged 6 wickets in the 50-over competition.
Ireland Men’s T20I squad for India series: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Ireland v India T20I series schedule:
• Sunday 26 June: Ireland v India, 1st T20I (Malahide)
• Tuesday 28 June: Ireland v India, 2nd T20I (Malahide)