Monday, May 27, 2024

Seamer Josh Little to join Ireland’s T20 World Cup squad after IPL commitments

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Star seamer Josh Little will tune up for Ireland’s T20 World Cup campaign with Gujarat Titans after he was allowed to remain in the Indian Premier League ahead of the tournament.

A 14-man squad face a busy build-up to next month’s campaign in the United States and West Indies, with three matches against Pakistan in Clontarf, starting on Friday, followed by a tri-series against Scotland and the Netherlands, but Little will not be involved.

Instead, selectors have decided he is better off at the IPL having only just forced his way into the team. He was overlooked for Gujarat’s first 10 games of the season but returned at the weekend and claimed four for 45 in a losing cause against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Titans sit bottom of the IPL table and have three games left, after which the 24-year-old is likely to take a break before getting back on the road with his country.

Head coach Heinrich Malan said: “The squad is one that we have gradually developed and tested out over the last 18 or so months – the skill sets we need to cover are there, albeit we have allowed Josh to continue in the IPL until his side end their campaign, so he will likely join us ahead of the big tournament.

“We are now entering the final stretch before the T20 World Cup begins. It will be a challenging couple of weeks, but we’re ready to tackle whatever is thrown at us.

“We have an intensive block of T20 cricket coming up this month ahead of the T20 World Cup – we have seven games in 15 days as preparation for the tournament. We will not be treating those seven games as warm-ups, though, we’ll be aiming to win as many of those games as possible.

“The T20 format is fast-paced, think-on-your-feet style of cricket. To find a way to win – given the often frenetic and evolving game going on around you – is a skill you can truly only ever learn and develop on the field of play.”

Paul Stirling captains a settled squad featuring the likes of predecessor Andrew Balbirnie as well as mainstays Lorcan Tucker, Curtis Campher, Harry Tector and Mark Adair.

Ireland, who are ranked 11th in the world rankings, face India, Pakistan, Canada and the USA in Group A.

Ireland’s T20 World Cup squad: P Stirling (c), M Adair, R Adair, A Balbirnie, C Campher, G Delany, G Dockrell, G Hume, B McCarthy, N Rock, H Tector, L Tucker, B White, C Young.

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