The transition between Ireland’s golden era and the new generation continues, with William Porterfield announcing his retirement, and Kevin O’Brien taking up an international coaching role.
In a move to the new crop of Ireland youngsters, a 14-man squad for the India T20I series has been named under Andrew Balbirnie, also leaving out 35-year-old Simi Singh.
The two-match series on home soil against the number one ICC T20I side in the world provides a stern examination for a green Ireland squad, set to feature at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup from the First Round.
Kevin O’Brien continues coaching transition after squad snub
Again left out of Ireland’s T20I squad, O’Brien is instead with the Italy camp as assistant coach for their Challenge League campaign this week in Uganda.
The first Irishman to hit a T20I century, O’Brien was omitted from the squad to tour USA and the West Indies late last year, as well as the group that punched their ticket for Australia 2022 at the T20 World Cup Qualifier A in Oman back in February.
He retired from One Day International cricket in June last year to focus on the shorter format, and was a member of their 2021 T20 World Cup squad, though was left out in the cold for their tour of the USA and the West Indies at the backend of the year.
On the Emerging Cricket Podcast last year, O’Brien outlined his coaching aspirations, running his own academy and mentoring players in Estonia in a recent visit.
Porterfield calls it a day, confirming reports
After CricketEurope and other sources reported the announcement on Wednesday, Cricket Ireland confirmed the 37-year-old’s announcement.
Scoring close to 10,000 runs internationally across all competitions, Porterfield led his team over 250 times in a rich period for the side.
Porterfield captained the side in their maiden Test match, and the Lord’s Test match against England, before handing the reins to Andrew Balbirnie. Porterfield led Ireland at two Cricket World Cup campaigns, famously at the helm in their shock victory over England in Bangalore.
Porterfield hadn’t made an appearance for the side at T20I level since 2018, though was a member of the One Day International team that rolled over the West Indies in two of the three Super League matches in Kingston.
Porterfield also made half centuries against South Africa and Zimbabwe in the side’s Super League campaign last year.
Young brigade driven through the Ireland system
Off the back of their impressive performances in the domestic circuit, Stephen Doheny and Conor Olphert could earn debuts against India.
Singh meanwhile is omitted despite claiming wickets in five of his last six T20Is, with Andy McBrine the only front-line spinner.
George Dockrell’s left-arm orthodox could be leaned on more as a result, with Gareth Delany’s leg-spin to also be utilised.
Ireland squad for India T20Is: Andrew Balbirnie (c), 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 Men v India Men T20I series
Sunday 26th June: Ireland v India, 1st T20I (Malahide)
Tuesday 28th June: Ireland v India, 2nd T20I (Malahide)
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