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Murtagh overlooked for qualifiers

There was no place for Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh in the 14-man Ireland squad named for next month's ICC World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

Wicketkeeper Rory McCann, who has edged out Stuart Poynter in the battle to replace Niall O'Brien, and all-rounder Max Sorensen were named in a familiar-looking line-up which also included 12 players from last year's World Cup on the sub-continent.

Chairman of selectors Ross McCollum said: "We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification."

He added: "It is indeed a very experienced squad, which we feel will serve us in good stead in high-pressure games. While we haven't named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements and we'll have no hesitation in bringing either in if any injuries occur.

"Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out, but we felt that given the prolific form that Rory McCann showed in domestic cricket in 2011 in the NCU, he deserved his chance."

Ireland have been drawn in Group B in the 16-team tournament alongside Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Uganda, Kenya, the United States and Italy.

Two qualification spots are on offer, with the successful teams travelling to Sri Lanka in September. The winners will be placed in the same group as Australia and the West Indies, while England and India await the second qualifier.

Following the conclusion of their current tour of Kenya, the team will travel for a training camp in South Africa, where they will also play three Twenty20 fixtures against the Warriors.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (Warwickshire) (captain), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Nigel Jones (CSN), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Rory McCann (Instonians), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

Replacements: Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), James Shannon (Instonians), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA).


From Belfast Telegraph