DUBLIN: Skipper Andrew Balbirnie will lead a strong Ireland squad at this year's ICC T20 World Cup after the European nation named their 15-player squad for the upcoming tournament on Tuesday.
Balbirnie will lead Ireland on the four-week tournament as he was named as the caption to the Irish side to an experienced squad that includes a good mix of talented veterans and promising youngsters.
Opener Paul Stirling, essential all-rounder George Dockrell and Balbirnie provide the experience in the 15-member squad, while star batter Harry Tector and pacer Mark Adair put the polish on a well-balanced squad.
There will be no veteran batter Kevin O'Brien, who was omitted from the squad that competed in the Qualifier, before announcing his retirement from all forms of international cricket last month.
"It's an exciting time for Irish cricket as we embark on another major global tournament. Over the last year we have been building a solid core squad, while creating more depth in our T20 cricket. I think fans have started to see the positive strides the players have been making in this format - especially with the series win over Afghanistan - and we hope we can take this momentum into the tournament in Australia," said Andrew White, Chair of National Men's Selectors in an official statement released by Ireland Cricke.
"One of the most considered decisions we had to make was around our spin bowling options. With George Dockrell and Gareth Delany both having an impact this summer and the variation they bring to the attack, it came down to making a choice between Simi Singh and Andy McBrine. Andy can feel very unfortunate to have missed out this time, but we believe Simi offers more variation on Australian wickets with his ability to take the ball away from both right and left-handers," he added.
"We believe this is one of the strongest T20 squads we have sent to a World Cup and wish the team and coaching staff well for the tournament ahead," White said.
Ireland will face off Zimbabwe in their opening match at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on October 17.
Ireland T20 World Cup squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, and Craig Young.