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All-rounder Alex Cusack calls time on his Ireland career

By Ian Callender

The Ireland selectors have said same again for the one-day international against Australia at Stormont on Thursday week but the squad does not include Alex Cusack, who has retired with immediate effect.

Cusack, the Clontarf all-rounder, has been troubled with groin problems for a couple of years now and was left out of the Intercontinental Cup match against UAE in June to ensure his fitness for Ireland's World Twenty20 qualifying campaign last month.

Fittingly, he took three wickets in what will now be his last international, against Jersey at Malahide, bringing his tally to 180, at an average of less than 22, placing him eighth on the all-time wicket-taking list. He scored 2,347 runs and batted in every position from No 3 to 11.

Only seven players have appeared in more than his 174 Ireland matches.

The 13-man squad to face the Aussies includes Tim Murtagh, the Middlesex paceman who was due to play in Ireland's last ODI, against England in May, but had to pull to pull out five days before the game with a hamstring injury. Once he was back bowling for Middlesex, his return to the international squad was a formality, having taken 2-21 in his last ODI, against Sri Lanka in May 2014!

There is still no place for Max Sorensen, despite his impressive performances for Leinster Lighting in this month's inter-provincials, with Stuart Thompson and Andy McBrine, likely to be 12th and 13th men at Stormont, retaining their places in the squad.

Squad: W Porterfield (capt), A Balbirnie, G Dockrell, E Joyce, J Mooney, T Murtagh, A McBrine, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson, C Young.

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