by Ed Leahy

Cricket Ireland have appointed former Australia Test bowler Craig McDermott as a specialist bowling coach and consultant to the squad ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.

The squad departed this morning for the Sri Lanka tournament, which begins on 18 September, and McDermott will have two weeks to work with the bowlers ahead of Ireland’s opening clash with Australia on 19 September in Colombo.

McDermott was a quality strike bowler and a vital member of the all-conquering Australia squad from the late 1980s and 1990s, winning the World Cup in 1987. The Queenslander played 71 Tests and 138 One Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia in an international career spanning 12 years.

The outswinging fast bowler took 291 wickets in Test match cricket, including 8 for 97 against England in 1991, and he notched up 203 ODI wickets.

Craig McDermott taking Mike Atherton's wicket for Australia

“I am looking forward to working with Phil and his team at the World T20 in Sri Lanka,” said McDermott.

“Ireland has done well in the past World Cups and I am sure they will do again at this one. They have a well balance squad and I am looking forward to getting stuck into preparing them for the World T20 in our training camp in Colombo.

“I see this as another opportunity for me to work with another international team and to further my coaching career.”

McDermott left his role as Australia bowling coach after 12 months in May this year, but continued to work with bowlers at Australia's Centre of Excellence and the Under-19 team that reached the final of the Under-19 World Cup.

Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland Performance Director said: “Craig’s enthusiasm, experience and knowledge will add further strength to our coach support staff and we thank the ICC high performance programme for their financial support towards achieving this.

“Having recently been bowling coach to the Australian team, his insights into their players will help the team prepare for our match against them on 19 September.”

Ireland qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 by winning the qualifying tournament in March of this year in Dubai.

Phil Simmons’ side also take on the West Indies, again in Colombo, on Monday 24 September with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the Super Eight phase of the tournament.

The 2012 event will see Ireland make their third appearance at the ICC World Twenty20. In 2009 Phil Simmons’ side qualified for the Super Eights phase and last time out, Ireland were well placed to defeat England in the group stages when rain intervened and England subsequently went on to become World Champions.

Ireland’s squad for the ICC World Twenty20: William Porterfield (captain) (Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Nigel Jones (CSN), Ed Joyce (Sussex), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union), Niall O’Brien (Northants), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Limavady), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).