Ireland name their final squad for T20 World Cup

The three players who missed out will still have a role to play in supporting the squad

Barry McCarthy is the most experienced name to miss out as Ireland have named their final men’s squad for the upcoming World T20.

Having picked an initial 18-man group last month, the selectors have trimmed that down to a figure of 15, with the three players to miss out staying on with the squad in the UAE as travelling reserves.

Shane Getkate and Graham Kennedy are the other two from the original 18 to drop out alongside McCarthy.

It was always going to be interesting to see in what direction Ireland would go with their seam bowling options in this squad, given the recent rotation policy. In last month’s T20 series at home to Zimbabwe, no one combination of bowlers played in consecutive matches.

Former Durham man McCarthy played in three of those five matches, with his economy for each game sitting at 5.0, 10.0 and 6.0 respectively.

That being said, Josh Little, Curtis Campher and Mark Adair appeared in both of the two warmup games that were played in the UAE before the squad was announced. This would appear to suggest that this is Ireland's current first choice trio of fast bowlers, meaning the competition for the final squad place came down to McCarthy and Craig Young, with the latter getting the final nod.

Getkate also played a prominent role in that Zimbabwe series, taking seven wickets across four games, but misses out as Campher and Simi Singh take up the all-rounder slots. Gareth Delany, George Dockrell and Paul Stirling can all also offer Ireland options with the ball should they need help with the balance of the side.

Chair of national men's selectors Andrew White referenced conditions in the UAE as a factor behind the decisions. Spin normally plays a big role there, perhaps even more so now seeing as the ongoing Indian Premier League ensures that the pitches will be somewhat worn come the start of the World T20.

“Part of the selectors’ decision-making was around the conditions in both Abu Dhabi and Sharjah” said White. “We also factored in (head coach) Graham Ford’s on-the-ground assessment of what he believes to be our most effective combination of players to win games of cricket.”

Ireland's selection reflects that belief with three front line spinners in the squad in Singh, Ben White and Andrew McBrine. The importance of spin certainly would have been a factor in both Getkate and McCarthy missing out.

Left-arm spinner Kennedy is the least experienced of the trio that drops out. Having yet to be capped at international level, he would have always faced an uphill battle to push out one of the more experienced spin options ahead of him.

Meanwhile, the squad was in action again on Friday as they succumbed to a 54-run defeat in their second warmup T20I against the UAE.

Chirag Suri top scored for the hosts with 51 (44) as they posted 163-4 in the first innings, a big improvement on their efforts on Thursday. Josh Little was once again the most economical Irish bowler, taking 1-24 off his four overs.

In reply, the Irish innings never really got going as Akif Raja accounted for the top three of Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien and skipper Andrew Balbirnie. Palaniapan Meiyappan was named player of the match for his figures of 4-25. Curtis Campher top scored with 22 (16) as Ireland were bowled out for 109 in the 19th over.

Ireland final 15-man squad: Andrew Balbirnie (capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

Head coach: Graham Ford.

Reserve players: Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Barry McCarthy.