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Ex-captains make the cut for West Indies trip


Called up: William Porterfield remains part of the squad
Called up: William Porterfield remains part of the squad

By Ian Callender

Deposed captains William Porterfield and Gary Wilson have retained their places in the Ireland squad and will travel to West Indies next month for the first internationals of 2020.

Ireland will play three ODIs, two in Barbados and one in Grenada, where they will also play the first of three T20 internationals, before travelling to St Kitts for the last two games.

Porterfield is no longer considered for the shortest format - the reason that Wilson took over the captaincy of the T20 side - but Ireland's first Test captain is in the 14-man squad for the ODIs and Wilson is named in both squads despite losing the captaincy to Andrew Balbirnie, who will lead Ireland in all three formats, starting on January 7.

The ODI series will be Ireland's first 50-over action for six months, since their three-match clean sweep against Zimbabwe in July and the selectors have made three changes.

With the decision not to select Tim Murtagh - who has now retired from international cricket having committed to Middlesex and would have been unavailable for Ireland from next summer - there was certain to be one change but Shane Getkate and Tyrone Kane have also been omitted, with the trio replaced by Craig Young, Barry McCarthy and Gareth Delany.

Young has taken 28 wickets in his 13 ODIs, including at least one in every game - his last was against New Zealand at Malahide in May 2017 - and impressed in the closing stages of the T20 World Cup qualifiers in October.

McCarthy, also named in both squads, seems to have been given Murtagh's slot and has been another consistent, if expensive wicket-taker. He has already chalked up 50 ODI wickets in 27 matches.

Gareth Delany will be making his ODI debut if he gets a starting place in West Indies and his call-up is a reward for his white-ball form. It also gives Ireland a leg-spinning option in the continued absence of CIYMS' Jacob Mulder, who has just started bowling again after the back pain which ruled him out of the T20 Qualifiers.

David Delany is the other notable absentee, although he was unavailable because of his university commitments but is taking the opportunity to have surgery on his knee which forced his early departure from the UAE.

Left armer Josh Little, who played 11 internationals this year, replaces him in the T20 squad with Getkate and new Civil Service North signing Stuart Thompson losing their places after the Qualifiers.

ODI squad: A Balbirnie (capt), M Adair, G Delany, A McBrine, B McCarthy, J McCollum, K O'Brien, W Porterfield, B Rankin, S Singh, P Stirling, L Tucker, G Wilson, C Young

T20 squad: as above except G Dockrell, J Little, H Tector for McBrine, McCollum, Porterfield

Fixtures - ODIs: January 7, 9 (Barbados 5pm), 12 (Grenada, 1.30pm); T20Is: January 15 (Grenada, 5pm), 18, 19(St Kitts, 10pm).

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