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Friday 15 December 2017

Murtagh overlooked for Ireland qualifiers

There was no place for Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh in the 14-man Ireland squad named for next month's ICC World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

Wicketkeeper Rory McCann and all-rounder Max Sorensen were named in a familiar-looking line-up which also included 12 players from last year's World Cup.

Murtagh was overlooked, though, despite having recently become eligible after obtaining an Irish passport.

Chairman of selectors Ross McCollum said: "We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification.



Unlucky

"While we haven't named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements. Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out, but we felt that Rory McCann deserved his chance."

Ireland have been drawn in Group B in the 16-team tournament alongside Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Uganda, Kenya, the United States and Italy.

Two qualification spots are on offer, with the successful teams travelling to Sri Lanka in September.

The winners will be placed in the same group as Australia and the West Indies, while England and India await the second qualifier.

Following their tour of Kenya, the team will train in South Africa, where they will also play three Twenty20 fixtures against the Warriors.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (Warwickshire) (captain), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Nigel Jones (CSN), Ed Joyce (Sussex), John Mooney (North County), Rory McCann (Instonians), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).

Replacements: Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), James Shannon (Instonians), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA).

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