Eddie targeting shot at England
Eddie Richardson is the one new name in the Ireland squad for the one-day international against England at Malahide on Tuesday week, a reward for a superb season with club and province.
Richardson, the North County all-rounder, has scored 797 runs at an average of 66 and taken 39 wickets at less than 17 for his club – the second best figures in Leinster cricket this season – but it is his statistics with the Leinster Lightning side which earned him his first call-up to the national side.
"He's been very consistent at all levels and the selectors were especially impressed by his form in the RSA inter-provincial series," said National Coach Phil Simmons.
"His volume of runs (163 at an average of 40) and wickets (21 at 16) has warranted selection.
"Eddie is a great advertisement for all Irish youngsters. He's shown everyone that if you put in the hard yards there will be rewards."
The 23 year-old, who described his selection as a "dream come true" is unlikely to be involved in the match, which will be played in front of the biggest crowd ever to watch a cricket international in Ireland – with Max Sorensen expected to be the only change in the team that tied with the Netherlands last month to reach the 2015 World Cup finals, replacing the injured Alex Cusack in the starting line-up.
Looking ahead to the game, Simmons added: "It's certain to be a fantastic atmosphere at Malahide, given that nearly 8,000 tickets have already gone.
"The players can't wait to play at the new venue, and with England as the opponents, there's always that little extra edge which you get when playing a 'local derby' so to speak.
"It would be something special for the team to give the fans another famous win, which is certainly possible with the talent we have in our ranks."
The fact that they have already tied with Pakistan this summer and were in a winning position in the second match which they lost by just two wickets, shows that on their day Ireland are capable of just not competing with the leading teams in world cricket but beating them, although victory in Dublin over a Full Member still eludes them.
The form of the captain, William Porterfield, who has lost his place in Warwickshire's county championship team this week, remains a worry but he has still scored four half centuries and a hundred in his nine innings for Ireland this year and his runs aggregate of 466 is the best of all, 11 more even than the currently prolific Ed Joyce who is averaging 91 from just two innings fewer.
Apart from Cusack, whose back injury could keep him out of the season – Ireland play Scotland in two ODIs at Stormont and an Intercontinental Cup match within 10 days of the England game – Instonians batsman James Shannon is the other absentee from the squad that went to Holland.
The England squad has still to be named but it is expected to include former Ireland pace bowler Boyd Rankin who would be making his ODI debut for England.
Ireland squad: W Porterfield (capt), G Dockrell, T Johnston, E Joyce, J Mooney, T Murtagh, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, E Richardson, M Sorensen, P Stirling, A White, G Wilson.