North West Warriors’ impressive start to the T20 inter-provincial Trophy has propelled Stephen Doheny and Conor Olphert into the Ireland squad for the first two games of the season, against India at Malahide.
Doheny is the leading run scorer after the first two T20 festivals with 158 runs at an average of 52 and a strike rate of 126 while Olphert, who plays his club cricket for Bready, took six wickets in his 15 overs, but it is extra pace which has given his a first chance of an Ireland cap ahead of Warriors team-mate and Waringstown all-rounder Graham Hume who took seven wickets with a better economy.
The duo are the only changes from the 14 which took Ireland to this year’s T20 World Cup by finishing second at the qualifying tournament in Oman in February. The two to miss out are Shane Getkate, another Warriors player, and Simi Singh.
Getkate hit 46 not out from 26 balls against the Northern Knights on the only day to beat the weather at Bready last weekend but it was not enough to keep his place, and Singh, despite scoring 109 runs from just 68 balls for Leinster Lightning, misses out on the chance to play against the country of his birth again after appearing in Ireland’s last 16 T20Is as Andy McBrine is now Ireland’s leading off spinner.
India also named their squad yesterday with Hardik Pandya, who led the Gujarat Titans to victory in the IPL, named as captain. Fourteen of the 17-man squad will travel directly from their current series against South Africa with KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant the notable absentees.
Ireland Squad: A Balbirnie (capt), M Adair, C Campher, G Delany, G Dockrell, S Doheny, J Little, A McBrine, B McCarthy, C Olphert, S Singh, P Stirling, H Tector, L Tucker, C Young.