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Ireland welcome back trio ahead of Pakistan series

Niall O'Brien and Craig Young will be fit for Ireland's KPC Group One-Day International series against Pakistan, while the returning Boyd Rankin is also available.

All three missed the recent series against Afghanistan, which ended in a draw, but are now available for next month's two meetings with Pakistan at Malahide.

O'Brien, who hit 72 in Ireland's 2007 World Cup win over Pakistan, is back following a calf problem while Young has overcome an elbow injury to be up for selection.

Rankin, meanwhile, is set to make his return to Irish cricket having left the set-up to represent England and head coach John Bracewell is pleased to have the trio back in the fold for what will be a testing two games for the hosts.

"It's great to have an almost full-strength squad to choose from," he said.

"The bowling unit performed superbly against Afghanistan with the younger seamers in particular putting their hands up.

"The return of Boyd and Craig adds to that department and gives us plenty of options which is exactly what a coach wants.

"The return of Niall adds experience to the top order. We tried a few different permutations with the batting order last week - some of which worked and some which didn't. Ed Joyce was obviously the stand-out performer in his new role as opener, and it was great to see Gary Wilson return to form.

"It should be a fantastic series - there's a great recent history between the two countries with some great matches over the past decade, and I'm certain it'll be two tough games when we meet in Dublin next month."


From Belfast Telegraph