Northern Knights will be without Josh Manley and Ben White for this week’s final T20 Inter-provincial Festival which gets under way in Pembroke this morning, but Paul Stirling returns.
Manley has been ruled out with a bruised heel while White, who played nine T20 internationals last year, has an eye consultation in London.
Stirling has yet to play a T20 game for Knights this season but his presence will not only boost the NCU side’s chances — they are bottom of the table without a win — but increase the attendance at Sydney Parade.
North West Warriors are currently second in the table and the fixture list for the week has them playing Munster Reds on Friday morning in what should be the title decider. Ardmore all-rounder Dhram Singh has been rewarded for his form in the Emerging Warriors team — he scored two 50s last week — with his first appearance in the senior squad.
There is one newcomer in the Lightning squad with Ireland U19 opening bowler Reuben Wilson bringing YMCA’s representation to five while the Reds are at full strength as they aim to follow up their 50-over success with a second trophy of the season.
The Festival will be too late for players to impress the Ireland selectors for the next five T20 internationals as the squad for next week’s games against South Africa in Bristol and the first three against Afghanistan at Stormont the following week has already been chosen — to be announced today — but there could be changes for the final two games against the Afghans on August 15 and 17, the last of the season before the T20 World Cup in October.
FIXTURES – Today: Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds, Northern Knights v North West Warriors.
Tomorrow: Reds v Knights, Lightning v Warriors. Friday: Warriors v Reds, Lightning v Knights. All games at Pembroke, 11am and 3.30pm.
SQUADS - Northern Knights: M Adair (capt), R Adair, C Carmichael, A Chore, M Foster, M Humphreys, J McCollum, J Matchett, T Mayes, R Pretorius, C Robertson, N Rock, P Stirling, M Topping
North West Warriors: A McBrine (capt), S Doheny, S Getkate, G Hume, G Kennedy, W McClintock, N McGuire, R Macbeth, S Macbeth, T McKeegan, D Singh, J Wilson, C Young
Leinster Lightning: G Dockrell (capt), A Balbirnie, G Ford, G Hoey, J Little, S Lynch, B McCarthy, M O’Reilly, S Singh, H Tector, T Tector, L Tucker, R Wilson
Munster Reds: PJ Moor (capt), C Campher, M Commins, D Delany, G Delany, M Ford, A Frost, M Frost, F Hand, C Hassett, T Kane, B Kruger, L McCarthy, K O’Brien.