Ireland have named a 21-man training squad ahead of their one-day international series in England, with fast bowler Mark Adair included after recovering from an ankle operation.
Adair, who made his Test and ODI debuts against England last year, went under the knife shortly before lockdown in March after injury struck during Ireland’s tour of the Caribbean in January.
The 24-year-old was one of Ireland’s standout Test performers at Lord’s last summer, taking six wickets in England’s 143-run victory, and is a likely inclusion in a 14-man squad to be named after training sessions and two warm-ups.
Andrew Balbirnie’s side will face England Lions in the second warm-up on July 26 before three one-day internationals behind closed doors at the ‘bio-secure’ venue of the Ageas Bowl between July 30 and August 4.
The series was originally set to take place between September 10-15 at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval respectively but the coronavirus pandemic has led to the fixtures being brought forward.
As such, the squad will leave Dublin on a special charter flight to Southampton before being transported in ‘bio-secure’ buses to a hotel at the ground, where they will stay until their departure on August 5.
“We have lost so much cricket this year, so to have a series – let alone such a major series as this – to look forward to is a great relief for all,” said Andrew White, Cricket Ireland’s chair of national men’s selectors.
“This lack of on-field action since March – and the short lead-in programme to the ODI series – influenced our thinking on the broader squad, however, the unique circumstances of the situation has allowed us to involve more players than we would normally bring on such a tour.
“The squad selected covers all eventualities – we have picked players that are in obvious contention to play, but also players that will help our batters prepare for the type of opposition we’ll be facing.
“We’re delighted that our top wicket-taker in 2019, Mark Adair, returns after recovering from ankle surgery, and feel we have the right squad balance for these important fixtures – keeping in mind they are World Cup qualifiers.”
White added seamer Stuart Thompson and all-rounder Shane Getkate were “unfortunate not to be travelling” while fast bowler David Delany was not considered following knee surgery.
All-rounders Curtis Campher and Jonathan Garth are uncapped at international level while seamer Tyrone Kane and Harry Tector are yet to represent Ireland in ODIs.
Once the squad is whittled down to 14 players, the seven left out will remain in Southampton as cover.
Ireland’s 21-man training squad to prepare for three ODIs against England: A Balbirnie (captain), M Adair, C Campher, P Chase, G Delany, G Dockrell, J Garth, T Kane, J Little, A McBrine, B McCarthy, J McCollum, K O’Brien, W Porterfield, B Rankin, S Singh, P Stirling, H Tector, L Tucker, G Wilson, C Young.