Cricket Ireland has unveiled its 15-player squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. The qualifier, scheduled from June 18 to July 9, 2023, will witness 10 teams vying for two coveted spots in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Andrew White, National Men’s Selector, emphasized the strategic considerations behind the squad selection, focusing on tactical requirements, form, and conditions. White highlighted the importance of having a well-rounded squad, particularly with the prospect of playing on used pitches in the latter stages of the tournament. He mentioned the significance of players like Ben White, who can excel in such conditions.
While looking ahead to the challenges, White acknowledged the need for a strong start and expressed confidence in the chosen squad’s ability to meet the initial hurdle. The seam attack, comprising Adair, Little, Young, McCarthy, Hume, and Campher, is expected to bolster the team’s bowling prowess. The experience of PJ Moor in Zimbabwean conditions and his versatility in batting positions 1 to 7 provide valuable cover.
Unfortunately, tough decisions had to be made, resulting in the exclusion of Stephen Doheny from the squad. White explained that Doheny is a player they admire and wish to invest in but believed it was the right time for him to step back and address certain technical aspects of his game at the domestic level.
Qualifier events are known for their intense and cut-throat nature, demanding a balance of talent, form, and experience. White expressed confidence in the squad’s composition, believing it fulfills these criteria. He also emphasized the unwavering support of Irish supporters in the team’s quest for World Cup qualification.
The Ireland Men’s squad includes Andrew Balbirnie as captain, along with players such as Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, PJ Moor, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, and Craig Young.
In the tournament, the 10 participating teams are divided into two groups:
– West Indies
– United States
– Sri Lanka
– United Arab Emirates
Each team will play against the other teams in their respective group once, with the top three from each group advancing to the Super Six stage. During the Super Six, teams will face the sides they did not meet in the group stage.
Points earned in the group stage will be carried over to the Super Six stage, except for points gained against teams that fail to reach the Super Six. The top two teams after the Super Six will compete in the final, and both teams will secure qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
For the first time in this tournament, the Decision Review System (DRS) will be utilized in all matches starting from the Super Six stage.
The Qualifier event serves as the culmination of four years of rigorous competition, bringing together the bottom five teams from the ICC Men’s CWC Super League, three automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men’s CWC League 2, and two teams that earned entry from the ICC Men’s CWC Qualifier Play-off.