Dublin: Lucy O'Reilly is in line to become the second youngest cricketer to play a women's international match after being called into Ireland's squad on Monday for their World Twenty20 qualifiers later this month.
The 13-year-old is an all-rounder with the Women's 1st XI of Dublin's YMCA club and the daughter of former Ireland international Peter O'Reilly. She was one of 14 players selected in Ireland's squad for the global qualifying event, which will see the hosts competing alongside seven other countries for the three remaining places on offer for next year's World Twenty20, set to take place in Bangladesh.
O'Reilly has already played for Ireland's senior women's team, making her debut in May in the County Championship. She took two for 15 last weekend as Ireland beat English county Worcestershire by seven wickets in their Division Two game.
Ireland coach Jeremy Bray is unafraid of picking young players as he showed in selecting leg-spinner Elena Tice, then just 13 years and 272 days old, against The Netherlands in August 2011. If O'Reilly, who doesn't turn 14 until November, plays in the qualifiers she will take Tice's Ireland age record and become the second youngest women's international in the history of the game behind Sajjida Shah, who was 12 when she made her debut for Pakistan.
"While the headlines will be about the teenagers in the squad such as Lucy, Elena, Una Raymond-Hoey and Kim Garth, it shouldn't be forgotten that we've got a spine of experience in there too," said Bray, the scorer of the Ireland men's team's first World Cup century, in a Cricket Ireland statement. "Isobel and Cecelia Joyce (twin sisters of Ireland and England batsman Ed) have been stalwarts for over a decade now, while Clare Shillington and Eimear Richardson are also battle hardened."
Ireland have been seeded third and are drawn in the same group as Sri Lanka, Japan and Canada. Top seeds Pakistan are in the other group alongside The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Thailand. The tournament will be held at four venues in the Dublin area (The Hills, Malahide, Merrion and YMCA) from July 23 until August 1.