O'Brien out as Ireland name cricket squads for Kenya clashes

Cricket Ireland have this morning announced the squads for the forthcoming Intercontinental Cup and RSA Challenge Series clashes with Kenya.

Cricket Ireland have this morning announced the squads for the forthcoming Intercontinental Cup and RSA Challenge Series clashes with Kenya.

There is just the one uncapped player named, 21 year old opening bowler Andrew Britton.

Britton, who plays his cricket for Fox Lodge in the North West earned his call up after an impressive performance with Ireland 'A' in Yorkshire during the week.

He has also represented Ireland at Under 15 and 19 level, playing in the 2008 Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia.

Wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien has an ankle injury which is expected to keep him out for between four and six weeks.

Captain William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin both miss the Intercontinental Cup game due to county cricket commitments, but return for the One Day International RSA Challenge Series at Clontarf.

Kyle McCallan will captain the team at Eglinton in Porterfield's absence, and it's a clash he's eagerly anticipating: "It has all the makings of being a great game. We've had some great tussles with them over the years, and our victory over them to win our first Intercontinental Cup in 2005, stands out as one of the best performances by an Irish cricket team.

"In my eyes, it's up there with our wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh.

That game was perhaps the defining moment for the current squad, and you can trace the current success back to that win. It gave us a sense of belief and the confidence to go on and dominate Associate cricket."

"The four day format of the game is one which I personally, and all the team enjoy. You can experiment with different field settings, and the bowlers get a chance to operate in long spells.

"We have a great record in this format of the game, and haven't been beaten since 2004, a game that I missed! We've won the last three cups, and we are still hungry for more titles. We want to continue our magnificent run."

Ireland coach Phil Simmons is also keen to keep the winning run going: "We've had a good 2009 so far, winning the World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa, and beating Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20. I want to keep that winning momentum, and I think we can do that with the current squad. Andy Britton deserves his chance as he's done well over the past 18 months. Trent Johnston was very impressed with him this week in Yorkshire."

"Kenya have named a very experienced squad, and have some very talented cricketers in their midst. They may find it difficult to adjust to Irish conditions, although it has been warm here this past few weeks. They may be a bit rusty as they haven't played a lot of cricket since the WCQ in April. That will be a big advantage for us, but it certainly won't be easy."

Intercontinental Cup squad versus Kenya at Eglinton - July 3-6, play starts at 11am. Free entry.

IRELAND: Kyle McCallan (capt) (Waringstown), Andre Botha (North County), Jeremy Bray (The Hills), Andrew Britton (Fox Lodge), Peter Connell (North Down), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union/Nottinghamshire), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Paul Stirling (Carrickfergus), Regan West (CSN), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (w/k) (Surrey).

One Day International RSA Challenge Series - July 9, 10 and 11 at Clontarf - play starts at 10:45am.

Ticket details at www.ticketmaster.ie or www.irishcricket.org

IRELAND: William Porterfield (capt) (Gloucestershire), Andre Botha (North County), Andrew Britton (Fox Lodge), Peter Connell (North Down), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), Kyle McCallan (Waringstown), John Mooney (North County), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union/Nottinghamshire), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Paul Stirling (Carrickfergus), Regan West (CSN), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (w/k) (Surrey).

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