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Campbell called into Ireland squad to face Australia

Updated: Monday, 10 Jun 2013 18:32 | Comments

Scott Campbell has been called into the Ireland squad for the first time Kevin O'Brien will captain the Ireland side in William Porterfield's absence
Scott Campbell has been called into the Ireland squad for the first time Kevin O'Brien will captain the Ireland side in William Porterfield's absence

Scott Campbell has been named in the Ireland squad for the four-day clash against a very strong Australia A squad which gets under way in Belfast on Friday.

The 19-year-old left-arm spinner from Coleraine gets his first opportunity to impress coach Phil Simmons having been understudy to George Dockrell with whom he played in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia last year.

Simmons explained why the teenager has been given the chance: "Scott is the next spinner in line behind George. He's impressed me when I've watched him bowl for Ireland A and the Under-19 side. These type of games against real top quality oppposition will be vital for him in his cricketing development and will help him improve.

"I've said before that four-day cricket is where players really learn how to play the game, and it's great that the team are getting this type of exposure against high calibre opposition."

"I've said before that four-day cricket is where players really learn how to play the game." - Simmons

Stuart Poynter has been named wicket-keeper for the clash - the MCC Young Cricketer is another who has been among the runs recently, scoring 172 against Durham 2nd XI - the second highest score in their history - just behind Alex Hales who holds the record with 174.

Simmons said of his inclusion: "Stuart has been in tremendous form recently, both with the gloves and the bat. He's always done well when called upon and his innings last week was exceptional."

There was good news on the injury front for the Irish selectors in that three of their fast bowlers have overcome injuries to be declared fit for the game.

Trent Johnston (achilles), Max Sorensen (finger) and Peter Connell (hamstring) have all passed fitness tests and are named in the strongest available squad to face the Australians in the first-class fixture.

Left-arm seamer Phil Eaglestone returns to senior action having been in tremendous form both domestically and in the Inter-Provincial Series - he is the leading wicket-taker in Irish domestic cricket, having claimed 24 for Waringstown.

There are eight players named who featured in the recent dramatic one-day games against Pakistan.

Paul Stirling is another player very much in prime form - the 22 year-old Middlesex-based opener will be looking to build on his one-day form which has included recent centuries against Pakistan and Leicestershire.

Kevin O'Brien will skipper the Irish side and is delighted to be wearing the armband.

O'Brien said: "It's always an honour to lead your country and I'm extremely proud to have been given the opportunity.

"There's no doubt that it will be tough against a team with ten Test players and no fewer than seven of their Ashes squad.

"It's a great opportunity for our players and I'm sure they will take it. You always want to test yourself against the best and their bowling attack will certainly be amongst the toughest we've faced in international cricket. It should be a great spectacle of cricket and a challenge I'm certainly looking forward to."

The Australians were in dominant form over the weekend as they completed a 360-run win against Scotland in just three days.

Skipper Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle scored centuries, while there were seven wickets in the match for fast bowler James Pattinson.

It's a great opportunity for Irish fans to see some high quality cricket, especially as Cricket Ireland have decided to waive any admission charge for the match at Stormont as a thank-you to fans for their support during the recent RSA Insurance ODI Series against Pakistan.

Ireland XI v Australia A, Stormont, June 14-17 (11am).

Ireland squad: Kevin O'Brien (captain) (Railway Union), John Anderson (Merrion), Scott Campbell (Coleraine), Peter Connell (Strabane), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), Phil Eaglestone (Waringstown), Trent Johnston (YMCA), John Mooney (North County), Stuart Poynter(Clontarf/MCCYC), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Andrew White (Instonians).

Australia A squad: Brad Haddin (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Chadd Sayers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Patrick Cummins.

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