Head coach Phil Simmons has given a number of younger players a chance to put their hand up for a place at next year’s World Cup in a squad of 15 picked for Ireland’s January tour to the United Arab Emirates.

The tour, which runs from 4-19 January, will comprise of four one-day internationals - two against both Afghanistan and Scotland.

With the final World Cup squad not to be announced until early January following a submission to the ICC, Ireland’s players still have a chance to prove themselves.

"There is a nice balance to the squad, which has a huge wealth of experience, but also a few young guns,” Simmons said.

“There are four players who have played in two World Cups [William Porterfield, Kevin and Niall O'Brien, and John Mooney] who have played 260 ODIs between them.

"There's also nine of the squad who played in our record run chase against England in that never to be forgotten evening in Bangalore in the 2011 World Cup, so that's a good omen.

“We are backing young Donemana spinner Andrew McBrine who particularly impressed in the New Zealand leg of the acclimatisation tour, but it's very unfortunate for Andrew White that his finger injury came at such a bad time for him."

Ireland's opening attack in the 2011 World Cup was Trent Johnston (retired) and Boyd Rankin (now England), and Simmons has gone for youth to fill the considerable void left by their absence.

"Craig Young has been fantastic since he broke into the team, and has continued to develop, while Peter Chase is growing in confidence and skill all the time. Peter, with his pace and extra bounce, is important for the type of Australian wickets we will play on in the UAE."

Simmons was delighted at the consistent progress of Andrew Balbirnie, who has been the stand-out performer in recent months.

"Andrew Balbirnie's form with the bat has been outstanding, with excellent performances in Australasia and in Dubai recently against a strong New Zealand 'A' team. His runs on tour have helped him force his way into the squad.

"It was a very difficult decision for the selectors to leave out Max Sorensen and Andrew Poynter, but this just shows the competition for places in the squad."


William Porterfield (Captain) (Warwickshire), Andrew Balbirnie (Middlesex), Peter Chase (Malahide), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Ed Joyce (Sussex), Andrew McBrine (Donemana), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Leicestershire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Gary Wilson (Surrey), Craig Young (Bready).