Porterfield to lead Ireland at World Cup

Ireland have named an unchanged squad of 15 for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which begins next month.

Will Porterfield will lead the same group of players that he is to take to Dubai for a training camp and Tri-Series against Afghanistan and Scotland.

Ireland, who will begin their campaign in Nelson on February 16, have named six players who have yet to appear in a World Cup in their squad, with Durham’s Peter Chase and Tim Murtagh of Middlesex among those who will have their first taste.

Porterfield will provide an experienced spine, along with the O’Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, Ed Joyce and John Mooney who all have tournament experience.

Kevin O’Brien made history at the 2011 event when he hit the fastest-ever World Cup century against England and will be looking to make a similar impact.

Porterfield is excited to be leading an exciting squad of players into the tournament, saying: “While we may have lost the surprise factor over the years, we’ve certainly gained a lot of respect for our brand of cricket which has been pretty pleasing.

Ireland have been drawn in a group with South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, West Indies and United Arab Emirates at the World Cup

“There’s a great mix as always in the squad, and the younger guys coming through are all hungry which keeps the more experienced players on their toes. Competition for places has been fierce and that’s got to be good for Irish cricket.”

Ireland have opted not to name any replacements, but will take five seamers to help with their preparations.

Head coach Phil Simmons said: “It’s our intention to have some additional players based in Australia to provide cover for the World Cup squad, and we’ll finalise those arrangements in the coming weeks.

“It’s important that we’ll have players who can hit the ground running if we suffer any injuries during the two months of the event.”

Ireland are due to play four one-day internationals in the United Arab Emirates, before eventually flying out to Australia at the end of January for their final preparations. 

Ireland World Cup squad: Will Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

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