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Promising duo out to stake claim for role of Irish opener

The search for the next Ireland opening bowler continues tomorrow when Ireland face Scotland in their final Intercontinental Cup game, against Scotland at Clontarf (10.30am start).

Graeme McCarter and Craig Young may have been out of sight for large chunks of the last couple of years but never out of the minds of the Ireland selectors and they are likely to share the new ball in the four-day game, Ireland's last before the I-Cup final in Dubai, probably in December.

McCarter, still only 20, made a one-off appearance for Ireland against Namibia at Stormont in the first I-Cup game of this campaign, exactly two years ago, finishing with match figures of one for 90 from 19 overs but since then has broken into the Gloucestershire county championship squad although has still to hold down a regular place.

Young, his former North West youth team-mate, has been plagued by injuries during his time with Sussex but he made his return to representative cricket in the Warriors last inter-provincial game against Leinster Lightning and took three from 71 from 24 overs at Bready.

For Ireland captain William Porterfield, playing only his fifth I-Cup match in Ireland and his first for six years, it will be a chance to see the young talent coming through the ranks.

"I haven't really seen a lot of either player but I'm looking forward to seeing them over the next few days and see what they have to offer. It's exciting times to see how they do in the longer form of the game," said Porterfield.

Ireland squad: W Porterfield (capt), J Anderson, A Balbirnie, C Dougherty, A McBrine, G McCarter, K O'Brien, S Poynter, E Richardson, M Sorensen, P Stirling, S Thompson, A White, C Young.

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Menawhile, Cricket Ireland yesterday announced the appointment of Craig Hogan, a 53-year-old Australian, to the new role of National Academy Manager. Currently the national coach and high performance manager of Jersey, Hogan will take up his post at the end of the month and work alongside Ryan Eagleson, who has been promoted to National Academy Performance Coach, to develop and, importantly, retain the next generation of Ireland cricket stars.

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