Andrew Balbirnie will captain a 16-man Ireland Wolves squad on a six-match tour of Bangladesh next month. The Wolves will play a four-day match followed by five 50-over contests against Bangladesh A.
“It’s a huge honour to captain the Wolves side,” said Balbirnie. “I really enjoyed doing it throughout the summer and particularly working with some of the younger players that I didn’t know a great deal about initially.
“It’s without doubt going to be a tough tour in Bangladesh but that’s what we want, to put ourselves in tough situations and come out of it having learned a great deal and grow and develop as cricketers. Playing against high quality opposition such as Bangladesh A in conditions which are alien to us will certainly do that,” added Balbirnie.
John Bracewell will act as Head Coach and he explained the importance of the tour, particularly ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers early next year.
“This squad gives Ireland a great opportunity to develop depth in selection choice and valuable experience in sub-continental conditions leading into the WCQ tournament early next year.
“We want to give Graham Ford, William Porterfield and the team the best possible opportunity to qualify and therefore have selected on the basis that all players in the squad have a realistic chance of making the Irish side in the immediate future.
“While 13 of the 16 players have senior international experience – only Jack Tector, Shane Getkate and Nathan Smith are uncapped at the top level – a number of those players don’t always feature in our first XI which makes A-team cricket so important for developing experience in our broader playing pool, let alone in unfamiliar conditions.”
Four of the squad have previous experience of Bangladesh, with George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, James Shannon and Stuart Thompson all included in Ireland’s squad for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
Ed Joyce joins the support staff for the three-week tour, and Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth outlined this was in keeping with their strategy of developing Irish based coaches as well as recruiting the best available talent worldwide.
“As part of our continual professional development of Irish-based coaches, we are including Ed Joyce for the first time in our coaching staff, to give him the opportunity to learn more about the role. His vast experience in leadership, batting and playing in such conditions will be a welcome addition to support these players,” said Holdsworth.
“Pete Johnston, who has done a tremendous job heading up the Wolves over the summer, will on this occasion remain in Ireland focusing on the Shapoorji Pallonji National Academy programme and support the Under 19 squad preparations for the ICC U19 World Cup in January.
“We are very grateful to the BCB for inviting us on what will be a key tour to help develop some of our players in Asian conditions and help improve a number of less experienced players who have not toured Bangladesh before,” added Holdsworth.
IRELAND WOLVES TOUR TO BANGLADESH
Andrew Balbirnie (Captain) (Pembroke/Lightning), John Anderson (Merrion/Lightning), Peter Chase (Malahide/Lightning), George Dockrell (Leinster/Lightning), Shane Getkate (Instonians/Knights), Andrew McBrine (Donemana/Warriors), Barry McCarthy (Durham), Jacob Mulder (CIYMS/Knights), Stuart Poynter (Durham), James Shannon (Instonians/Knights), Simi Singh (YMCA/Lightning), Nathan Smith (Instonians/Knights), Jack Tector (YMCA/Lightning), Sean Terry (The Hills/Lightning), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton/Warriors), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke/Lightning)
Chris Siddell (Team Manager), John Bracewell (Head Coach), Rob Cassell (Assistant Coach/Fast Bowling Coach), Ed Joyce (Batting Coach), Brendan Connor (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Scott Irvine (Performance Analyst), Niamh Connolly (Physiotherapist).
October 11-14, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 4-day game, SICS, Sylhet (09:30)
October 17, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game, SKICS, (09:00)
October 19, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game, SKICS Academy, (09:00)
October 21, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game, SKICS, (09:00)
October 24, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game, SKICS Academy, (09:00)
October 26, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game, SKICS, (09:00)