Ireland have named a 16-man squad for their upcoming tour where they play back-to-back ODI series against Afghanistan and hosts UAE. These matches will be part of the ODI Super League and hence will be crucial for the scheme of things in the lead upto 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India. They already have 10 points to their name after they beat England in the third and final match of the three match ODI series held in August.
☘️ Ireland have named a 16-player squad for their back-to-back ODI series against UAE and Afghanistan in January.The series against Afghanistan will be their second CWC Super League encounter, after taking 10 points away from their visit to England in August. pic.twitter.com/SPlCT1zyMt
— ICC (@ICC) December 10, 2020
Gary Wilson will be unavailable as he will be attending the birth of his second child. He would have rejoined the squad midway through the series but that would be stiff with the Covid-19 protocols in place.This tour will also be the first since Stuart Barnes, the new assistant head coach and national bowling lead, joined the support staff. Match dates, playing times and venue details will be officially announced in the coming days.
Meanwhile several players and support staffs will keep themselves safe back home in Ireland in case they are called up in case of an injury to the existing team members. Team coach Graham Ford sounded upbeat for the assignment.
“We’ve beaten the T20 World Champions, the West Indies, in a T20I in the Caribbean, beaten Afghanistan for the first time in a T20I in the subcontinent, and beaten the current World Cup champions England in their own backyard – those wins have helped build self-belief within the players and have demonstrated the progress we are making as a squad," an ICC release quoted him as saying. “We have two challenging series ahead of us, but we’re looking to create a sense of momentum going into a big year – a year that will feature multiple tours, a full home season and a T20 World Cup at the back end,” he added.
Ireland last played a three match ODI series against England in August. They lost the first two games but came back strongly in the dead rubber to chase down England’s mammoth 329-run target. They won the game by seven wickets.