Belfast Telegraph

White still fighting for World Cup call

By Ian Callender

The Ireland squad’s hopes of getting vital match practice at the end of their training camp in India were thwarted by torrential rain.

Saturday’s game in Pune did not get started and yesterday’s match in Mumbai lasted only 45 overs. Their next scheduled action is in 82 days’ time, their first official warm-up match ahead of the World Cup finals in Bangladesh and India, against New Zealand in Nagpur.

It was fitting that Andrew White and John Mooney ended the year as the innings’ top scorers because they have been the most improved batsmen in 2010. White scored 1,003 runs in the calendar year, at an average of 38.58 and Mooney, only once higher than No 6, hit 818 runs at 30. Yet neither is guaranteed a place in Ireland’s World Cup opener against Bangladesh on February 25.

If National Coach Phil Simmons decides to play two specialist spinners, George Dockrell plus possibly Regan West, then both Ireland’s all-rounders could miss out.

If West does make it despite not playing for 15 months, then four members of the squad which flies home from India tonight will not be returning in February.

Boyd Rankin, who missed this trip through injury, is certain to be in the 15-man World Cup squad, probably at the expense of Allan Eastwood, but in the land of spin there could still be room for both West and Albert van der Merwe.

Ireland’s probable World Cup 15: W Porterfield (capt), T Johnston, P Stirling, E Joyce, N O’Brien, K O’Brien, G Wilson, A Cusack, A White, J Mooney, A Botha, G Dockrell, B Rankin, A van der Merwe, R West.

Belfast Telegraph


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