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England are in Adair's sights as he returns to full fitness



Mark Adair

Mark Adair

�INPHO/Alex Davidson

Mark Adair

Mark Adair will be fit and raring to go when Ireland return to action, hopefully at the end of next month in the one-day international series against England.

The extended break could not have come at a better time for the CIYMS all-rounder, who made such an impact after being given his debut against the Three Lions in May last year - he finished as the leading wicket-taker - as it allowed him to undergo an operation on his troublesome ankle.

"The operation went well and I've been pretty lucky not to have missed any games," said Adair. "I expect to be back bowling at 100% next week and am looking forward to returning to action."

Ireland are due to fly to Southampton on July 18 and they will live in the bio-secure Ageas Bowl, which has a hotel and training facilities on site. The first of three ODIs is provisionally arranged for July 30.

For now, though, in these extreme times, the Ireland squad are training at three separate venues - in Stormont, Bready and the High Performance Centre in Dublin - on a one-to-one basis with the coaches, but Adair confirms everyone is trying to ensure it is as normal as possible.

"It's great to be back in the nets, seeing everyone again, although we are still having to keep our distance, having our temperature taken, the coach has to use gloves and we have to bring our own balls and wipe everything down. But it's business as usual," he said.

"The prep side of things is more intricate but Beth (Healy) is doing a great job at Stormont, getting everything set up and keeping everyone safe and Scott (Ervine), Eagy (Ryan Eagleson) and Jonty (Simon Johnston) are looking after the coaching side."

Adair is spending most of his time with Eagleson, someone he has known for nearly 15 years.

"I have known him since I was 10 and he is talking me through anything he notices in my bowling action," he added.

"The extra time has allowed me to take it to the bare minimum and given me the chance to work on a few technical things. I'm also trying to get more rhythm into my batting and it's so far, so good."

• FORMER Instonians captain Jonathan Walsh has died after losing a long-term battle with a severe neurological condition.

He represented Ulster Town in the old Guinness Cup in 1994-95 and was a member of the team that won the first ClubTurf Ulster Cup final in 1999.

Sympathy is extended to his family circle, including his father Brian, who is a former NCU chairman.

Belfast Telegraph