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World Cup hopefuls get chance to impress

The Ireland selectors have shown their hand for the first time this summer to the players on the outside with a chance of making the plane to next year's World Cup finals.

With the probable exception of Andrew Poynter – named captain of the Ireland A side who will play the MCC at Malahide on Friday week – who surely has one foot on the step, the rest of the team know they must perform if they are to make the final 15.

Andrew McBrine, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young, members of the last Ireland squad, are the players with most to prove and in the quirk of the team sport of cricket, they will play alongside the individuals who are after their places.

Andrew Balbirnie will hope to transfer his form with Middlesex II to the home stage, while for Nick Larkin it is first chance at this level, alongside his North Down team-mate James Cameron-Dow who impressed on the winter tour of Sri Lanka, but there is no place in the team for Instonians' international James Shannon.

Ireland A: A Poynter (capt), J Anderson, A Balbirnie, P Chase, J Cameron-Dow, C Dougherty, N Larkin, A McBrine, L Nelson, E Richardson, S Thompson, C Young.

Belfast Telegraph