Shannon now eyeing ICC debut
THERE was never really much doubt that the 15 selected for the West Indies tour would be the party that would go on to the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month and, with the exception of John Mooney, Cricket Ireland yesterday confirmed the decision.
Mooney had to return home with a stress-related illness 10 days ago, but Instonians batsman James Shannon, who joined the squad as his replacement, keeps his place for his first ICC event.
National coach Phil Simmons was always going to use next week's Twenty20 internationals against defending World T20 champions West Indies as a warm-up for Bangladesh and with the exception of Mooney and the retired Trent Johnston he will have the squad which won eight games out of eight in the qualifying tournament for the finals.
Andy McBrine, Andrew Poynter and Craig Young join Shannon as debutants at an ICC global event but captain William Porterfield is one of six players who have been to all four in what is still a very experienced squad, despite the loss of Boyd Rankin, to England, Johnston, Mooney and the non-selection of batsman Andrew White.
Ireland played their first T20 game of the current tour against the Trinidad Academy yesterday and won by three wickets with three balls to spare, despite a middle order collapse after Paul Stirling hit 70 in reply to their hosts 138 for four. Shannon finished 19 not out.
World Twenty20 squad: W Porterfield (capt), A Cusack, G Dockrell, E Joyce, A McBrine, T Murtagh, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, A Poynter, J Shannon, M Sorensen, P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson, C Young.