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Ireland unchanged for clash with the Netherlands

Updated: Monday, 24 Jun 2013 13:44 | Comments

Kevin O'Brien will captain Ireland in the Netherlands
Kevin O'Brien will captain Ireland in the Netherlands

Ireland have named an unchanged ODI squad for their crucial World Cup qualifers against the Netherlands next month.

Two wins would secure automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup which is being held in Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland currently top the ICC World Cricket League Championship table on 17 points, three ahead of the Dutch, who occupy second place.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons knows just how important these matches are and is keen to secure qualification as quickly as possible: "Without a doubt these matches are the most crucial we'll play this year.

"While it's always fantastic to have fixtures against full members, qualification for global tournaments is the main goal. It's vital we keep performing on the world stage and show everyone just how far Irish cricket has come."

With mandatory release for the matches, Ireland's county professionals are available for the games in Amsterdam, and Simmons welcomes their experience.

He said: "It's no secret that I like having seasoned players freshened up with a sprinkling of youth.

"We have a settled squad now with most of the players having played at least 100 times.

"They are used to handling pressure having played in World Cups and that will stand them in good stead as the qualifying tournament enters its final stages.

"I want the team to finish strongly with four wins - that's our aim. We want not only to win the competition but to do it convincingly with 25 points."

Ireland also currently top the InterContinental Cup table and will be hoping to gain the win which would secure a final place in the UAE in December.

Somerset left-arm spinner George Dockrell is the only county player selected, which means opportunities for John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Phil Eaglestone, Stuart Thompson and Stuart Poynter. MCC Young Cricketer Poynter impressed against Australia A recently scoring an impressive half-century in a battling Ireland display.

ICC InterContinental Cup: July 1-4 at Deventer
Kevin O'Brien (captain) (Railway Union), John Anderson (Merrion), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke/Middlesex), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Phil Eaglestone (Waringstown), Trent Johnston (YMCA), John Mooney (North County), Stuart Poynter (MCCYC), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Andrew White (Instonians).

Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship: July 7 and 9 at VRA, Amstelveen
William Porterfield (Captain) (Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

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