T20 World Cup 2021: Ireland names its final 15-man squad; Andrew Balbirnie to captain

Cricket Ireland, on Friday, October 8, 2021, announced the final 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, two days ahead of the deadline set by ICC. Graham Ford will be the head coach of the team.

Andrew Balbirnie will captain the Ireland team in the ICC event where they have been placed in Group A of the first round of qualifying matches. The other teams in the group are Namibia, Netherlands, and Sri Lanka.

Ireland will play the Netherlands on October 18, Sri Lanka on October 20, and Namibia on October 22 in order to try and qualify for the Super 12s round.

Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors, said: “It was always going to be a very difficult decision to reduce the squad from 18 to 15 – every player out in Dubai at the moment has proven their talent and deserved their chance. The three players who have missed out will still have a role to play in supporting the core squad, and stay on within the team bubble as cover in case of injury or illness.”

Part of the selectors’ decision-making was around the conditions in both Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, but we also factored in [Head Coach] Graham Ford’s on-the-ground assessment of what he believes to be our most effective combination of players to win games of cricket.”

The squad features star players like Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Simi Singh along with experienced Mark Adair.

Before the main draw begins, Ireland will face Papua New Guinea in a warmup tie on October 12 and Bangladesh on October 14, with both matches to be played in Abu Dhabi.

“We are confident that the squad of players selected have the ability and the determination to take us into the next round of the tournament, but ultimately it will be about putting together performances that are deserving of it. We wish Fordy and the lads all the best for the challenge ahead, and we’re sure they will do Irish cricket proud,” White added.

Ireland squad:

Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

Reserve players: Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Barry McCarthy.