Cricket Ireland have named their 15-man squad for next month’s ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand, keeping faith with the players that secured qualification.
Clontarf’s Andrew Vincent is the only addition to the 14 that clinched the qualification tournament in Jersey this summer to secure the World Cup berth in a dramatic encounter against Scotland.
Harry Tector is one of ten Leinster-based players in the squad, which also contains three representatives from the North-West and one each from the NCU and Munster.
Under 19 Head Coach, Ryan Eagleson is urging his young charges to make their mark on the global stage, as many international superstars have done in the past.
“Many of today’s cricket stars have played in past under 19 World Cups and this is a huge opportunity for this group of Irish cricketers to make a name for themselves,” said Eagleson.
“There’s the added incentive of Test cricket now for this talented bunch, and strong displays in the tournament will definitely put them in the shop window with a new senior Head Coach at the helm later this month too.”
Eagleson outlined preparations for the tournament in which the Irish have been drawn in Group D alongside the Asian triumvirate of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We’ve been training hard both at home and at a recent warm weather camp at the European Centre in La Manga. The players have all been putting in the hard yards with early morning gym sessions and regular skills based sessions and national weekends too. There’s a definite excitement in the camp as we build towards January.
“We have a training camp planned in New Zealand where we will play two matches against a strong Auckland side as well as three days of practice to adjust to local conditions. We then travel to Christchurch for two official warm-up matches against England and Canada.
“We will play our group games in Whangarei where two of our squad Mark Donegan and Sam Murphy have been playing locally over the winter which will be of great benefit not only to the pair but the entire squad with their accumulated knowledge.”
Ireland face Sri Lanka in their first Group game on January 14th before taking on Pakistan two days later. The Afghanistan clash is down for decision on Saturday, January 20th.
Ireland Under 19 World Cup squad:
Harry Tector (Capt) (YMCA/LCU), Ian Anders (Phoenix/LCU), Aaron Cawley (Cork County/MCU), Varun Chopra (Coleraine/NWCU), Mark Donegan (The Hills/LCU), JJ Garth (Pembroke/LCU), Jamie Grassi (North County/LCU), Reece Kelly (Bready/NWCU), Graham Kennedy (Ballyspallen/NWCU), Josh Little (Pembroke/LCU), Sam Murphy (YMCA/LCU), Max Neville (Merrion/LCU), Neil Rock (Rush/LCU), Morgan Topping (Waringstown/NCU), Andrew Vincent (Clontarf/LCU).