Cricket

Ireland becomes history-makers in world cricket, find out how

[caption id="attachment_66456" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Ireland names their first ever test team. | Image: Twitter Ireland names their first ever test team. | Image: Twitter[/caption]


XtraTime Web Desk:
Ireland becomes history-makers, as the nation announces their first ever Test team, as they will play against Pakistan next week.

Graham Ford has named his Ireland squad springing a couple of selection surprises, notably the inclusion of uncapped bowler Nathan Smith. William Porterfield has fully recovered from a knee injury to captain the side for a first foray into the Test arena, while the golden generation of players — including Ed Joyce, Kevin and Niall O’Brien and Gary Wilson — are rewarded for playing such a pivotal role in Ireland’s relentless pursuit of ascension to Test-playing status.

Boyd Rankin is the only member of the 14-man panel to have experienced Test cricket before, having featured for England during their 2013/14 Ashes tour in Australia, and will lead Ireland’s bowling attack at Malahide.

The early season form of Stuart Thompson, Tyrone Kane and James Shannon has been recognised with call-ups by Ford, with George Dockrell, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy and Peter Chase among those who can consider themselves unlucky to miss out.
The exclusion of Dockrell, in particular, is a significantly harsh call considering he has been an ever-present in the side for the last eight years, but Ford has opted for Andy McBrine as the front-line spinner.

Now that the South African has unveiled his hand, the team largely picks itself with the batting order having a settled and experienced look to it, while it seems Smith and Kane are in direct competition for the final seam-bowling place.
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Ed Joyce, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Nathan Smith, Paul Stirling, James Shannon, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson.

 

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