Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Ireland call up Murtagh

Tim Murtagh is set to make his Ireland debut against Australia

Ireland have drafted in Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh to a 13-strong squad to take on Australia in a one-day international in Belfast on June 23.

Murtagh deputises for Boyd Rankin, who has a foot injury, and the squad contains eight players based with English county sides.

Coach Phil Simmons said: "Although Tim Murtagh hasn't played for Ireland yet, he's been bowling superbly for Middlesex so that will soften the blow of losing Boyd."

He went on: "Max Sorensen and Trent Johnston were fantastic in the UAE (during the World Twenty20 qualifiers) so we have plenty of options in the squad having so many all-rounders. I've been following the English-based players and there have been some fantastic performances from them at various stages this season."

Niall O'Brien has also returned to the Ireland squad, and Simmons added: "There's no doubt he's among the best 14 players that Ireland have, but Gary Wilson did superbly in the UAE, so Niall knows he's going to have work hard and be at his best to regain the gloves."

Ireland captain William Porterfield is relishing the prospect of taking on the Australians.

"It's going to be another fantastic occasion in Belfast as we take on Australia," he said.

"We relish the opportunity to take on the top teams and they don't come much bigger than the number one-ranked team. We missed a great chance to beat them in Dublin in 2010 but we're learning all the time and have gained more experience of getting over the finishing line as we showed against England in the World Cup last year.

"Playing in front of your home fans gives all the players a great buzz, and with a capacity crowd behind us we'll be doing our level best to capture another full-member scalp."

Squad: W Porterfield (captain, Warwickshire), A Cusack (Clontarf), G Dockrell (Somerset), T Johnston (YMCA), E Joyce (Sussex), J Mooney (North County), T Murtagh (Middlesex), K O'Brien (Railway Union/Somerset), N O'Brien (Northamptonshire), M Sorensen (The Hills), P Stirling (Middlesex), A White (Instonians), G Wilson (Surrey).

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