Ireland's World Cup Squad Profiles

by coverpoint

Rob Quin profiles Ireland's squad for the World Cup which starts next month...


William Porterfield, Captain, Warwickshire Age 26, ODI caps 44

The skipper averages 33.43 in ODI's, leads from the front as an opening bat. A lot of responsibility rests on his capable shoulders, tough and astute Porterfield will be targeted by the world's best opening bowlers - just the way he'd like it. Started last season having to fight to secure his place in the Gloucestershire side and ended it their best batsman earning a new contract with Warwickshire and mentioned as a future county captain. 85 against Bangladesh at the last world cup and 108 against the same opposition are two highlights.


Andre Botha, North County, Age 35, ODI caps 40

Injury has curtailed performance and appearances one of the most consistent all around performers since playing in Ireland's first ODI in 2006. Highlights with ball include 8 over's, 5 runs for 2 wkts in the famous win over Pakistan. Sub-continent wickets should suit his medium pace accuracy. Capable of vital late order contributions with the bat.


Alex Cusack, Clontarf, Age 30, ODI caps 31

Another with recent injury problems but a useful all-round contributor 34 wkts at 20.34 and averaging over 25 with the bat, though like others could improve that by converting solid starts into big scores. Likely to contend for the crucial but problematic number 3 position and the experience to bowl at the end of an innings.


George Dockrell, Somerset, Age 18, ODI caps 16

The young left armer and Under 19 captain. Is the young Irishman the most exciting young slow bowler in world cricket? He carries a huge burden with Regan West's failure to recover from shoulder surgery in time, 20 wkts at 26.60 and favourable conditions in which to ply his trade, he will be a key performer. Only 13 ODI runs suggest he doesn't posses the same ability with the bat, yet he's no mug with the bat and will look to contribute with the bat also during the world cup.


Trent Johnston, Railway Union, Age 36, ODI caps 47

World cup captain in 07 is bound to provide plenty of back up to Porterfield, respectable averages with bat and ball a highest score of 45* and 46 wkts but means so much to this team, brings guts, spirit and determination. Oh how the Aussies need a 27 year old TJ now.


Nigel Jones, Civil Service North, Age 28, ODI caps 11

The nippy medium pacer and right hand bat will be hoping to force his way into the reckoning, an athletic fielder he may well contribute in all three facets, but will need to make an impact in the warm up games.


Ed Joyce, Sussex, Age 32 ODI caps 17

Ireland's trailblazer has won all his ODI caps for England as Ireland did not have one-day status before 2006. England's treatment of Ireland's finest could well come back to haunt them if Ireland can provide another world cup upset. A magnificent 107 in Sydney to help beat Australia was a career highlight, should solve Ireland's issues at four and solidify the middle order - class operator.


John Mooney, North County, Age 28, ODI caps 29

In 16 ODI games in 2010, Mooney only failed to get into double figures one time. Ireland's cricketer of the year has improved immensely and gets a chance to prove that on the world stage; always amongst the best Irish fielders he also provides a useful seam option. A solid ODI batting average of 32.35 despite rarely getting an opportunity above 6. If Ireland cause a few surprises Mooney will be at the center of it.


Kevin O'Brien, Railway Union, Age 26, caps 52

This fiery competitor averages of 34.25 with the bat and 30.20 with the ball, which highlight the quality of Ireland's most dangerous all rounder - 73* against Zimbabwe last Sept and wkts in 16 of his last 17 ODI's, and has the ability to turn any game singlehandedly.


Niall O'Brien, Northants, Age 29, caps 40

Abrasive, chirpy, and capable of brilliance (for example his match winning 72 against Pakistan in 2007, followed up with 63 against England). Recently has struggled a bit his ODI average of 25 is 10 runs below his first class average but Joyce's return and dropping down the order may help get him going, cometh the hour. Ireland's first choice wicket-keeper.


Boyd Rankin, Warwickshire, Age 26, caps 23

33 Wkts at 24.69, the big man will spearhead the Irish attack - however unlike the Caribbean we will take nobody by surprise. Fitness will be crucial as Rankin on song is as good as anybody and better than most. Has taken wickets in 19 of 23 ODI games. Much depends on those big boots.


Paul Stirling, Middlesex, Age 20, ODI caps 23

The most exciting batting talent in the Irish ranks, Porterfield's partner has the ability to dismantle most bowling attacks. Highlights include a record breaking 177 against Canada, sharing an 80 run opening stand against Australia, and fifties against West Indies, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. Needs to convert more starts into big scores with eight scores between 30 and 40.


Albert van der Merwe, The Hills, Age 31, ODI caps 8

A consistent performer with bat and ball for his club he has yet to reproduce that form with the bat for Ireland albeit in limited opportunity. However his off spin will mean that he gets an opportunity to force his way into the reckoning, if he can bowl economically and challenge batsmen that will give Phil Simmons plenty to ponder.


Gary Wilson, Surrey, Age 24, ODI caps 25

Provides reliable back up to Niall O'Brien at wicket-keeper. His late season form with the bat was so good he forced in way into the Surrey side as a batsman. He averages 27.59 with a memorable hundred last summer against the Netherlands followed up with 48* against the same opposition and 69 against Zimbabwe in Harare. Will be a key performer.


Andrew White, Instonians, Age 30, ODI caps 49

Useful all-rounder. Bowled the most nerve racking over in the last world cup against Zimbabwe to secure Ireland a tie. Batting average of 19.66 belies many useful contributions with the bat, often under used with the ball taking 25 wkts at just 23.60. An excellent 2010 season he and John Mooney formed many admirable partnerships, which should be given the chance to prosper further. His performances have gone a long way to ease the loss caused by the retirement of Kyle McCallan.

                      

     Rob Quin 

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