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Kevin O’Brien dropped from Ireland squad for USA and West Indies tour


Kevin O’Brien has been left out of the Ireland squad for the T20 and ODI series against the USA and the West Indies in what selector Andrew White called “one of the hardest selection calls”.

O’Brien has played 110 T20s for Ireland during his distinguished career but White said the decision was made to leave the 37-year-old out “to try a different dynamic at the top of the order, and enable greater power-hitting potential in the middle order.”

Bowler Josh Little will miss the series against the USA as he will be playing in the Lanka Premier League but he will join up with the squad for the ODI series in Florida before they travel to the Caribbean on December 21st.

Leg-spinner Ben White receives his first call-up to an ODI squad after making his T20I debut against South Africa in July this year.

White said that the recent failure to qualify for the Super 12s stage of the T20 World Cup means these matches take on extra importance.

“We had hoped that we could have avoided the need to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup through advancing to the Super 12 stage of the last tournament, but our early exit means that our transition and succession planning horizons have been shortened somewhat,” he said. “The USA and West Indies tour has taken on a greater sense of importance – and indeed, a greater sense of urgency regarding some of the tactical changes we need to consider.

“The statistics don’t lie – in T20Is we have had a problem for a while now with boundary and six-hitting – particularly outside the powerplay overs. We see the way that the best sides can accelerate their scoring rates and access the boundaries during the latter overs of an innings, and we have lacked that in recent times. It also goes without saying, but an ability to clear the ropes is also an area we have to try and address, and as such we have brought William McClintock and Shane Getkate back into the reckoning to add firepower to the middle order. We will also re-jig the batting order at the top, with Andrew Balbirnie to partner Paul Stirling as an opening pair.”

Ireland squads

T20: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little*, Barry McCarthy, William McClintock, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

ODI: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Josh Little*, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, William Porterfield, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

* Josh Little will join the travelling squad ahead of the ODIs against USA and remain for the rest of the tour

USA leg of the tour

The fixtures on the US leg of the tour are:

December 20th: T20 Warm-up match (details TBC)

December 22nd: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Florida; start 2pm local time)

December 23rd: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Florida; start 7pm local time)

December 26th: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Florida; start 10am local time)

December 28th: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Florida; start 10am local time)

December 30th: USA Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Florida; start 2pm local time)

West Indies leg of the tour

Dates and venues of the multi-format white ball fixtures will be announced shortly.



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