Ireland have called up uncapped pacer Matthew Foster for the upcoming one-off Test series against Afghanistan, which is slated to begin on February 28. Barry McCarthy, Theo van Woerkom and Craig Young, who have been part of the scheme of things for quite some time may earn their debut caps, as Andrew Balbrnie will lead the side in the longest format of the format.
After the one-off Test, the two teams will play a three-match ODI and T20I series. All the matches of the series will be played in the United Arab Emirates as Paul Stirling has been named the captain of the side for the white-ball leg of the series.
Meanwhile, Ireland selector Andrew White expects the team to produce a good show as all the players are more or less familiar with the conditions in the UAE. He expects the team to carry some confidence after their recent heroics in Zimbabwe as the series can be a good preparation ground for them ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is slated to begin on June 1.
“We have played a lot of cricket over the last decade in this part of the world, so the conditions should be somewhat familiar to the players. While there has been a 12-week gap, the squad should carry some confidence and momentum into this series from the successful tour of Zimbabwe in December,” White was quoted as saying by BBC.
“Preparations have been going well, the squad had a solid training camp in Spain last week and we will be sending the players to the UAE five days before the upcoming series to acclimatise and train in Middle Eastern conditions. This series is a crucial one in our preparations before a big summer, which includes the T20 World Cup. This is always a highly anticipated contest and I would expect this to be a hard-fought series – one I’m very much looking forward to,” he added.
Test squad: Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Matthew Foster, Graham Hume, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, PJ Moor, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Theo van Woerkom, Craig Young.
ODI squad: Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Matthew Foster, Graham Hume, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Paul Stirling (c), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Theo van Woerkom, Craig Young.
T20I squad: Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Paul Stirling (c), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.