Ireland’s bid for Test status to start against the UAE
John Bracewell’s tenure set to begin in a four-day game at Malahide
Tim Murtagh (L) is back in the Ireland side after recovering from a hamstring injury. Photograph: Inpho
A mixed weather forecast may the biggest worry for New Zealander Bracewell in his first game in charge, having been an onlooker last month when the one-day international against England was rained off after 18 overs.
Ten of the Ireland side that took the field in that game are part of Bracewell’s squad this time, with Alex Cusack left out to save him for a busy summer of Twenty20 internationals.
Middlesex opening bowler Tim Murtagh has played a full part in training in the run-up to the UAE game, having missed the England encounter with a torn hamstring. The 33-year-old only made his return to action in a Middlesex second team game against Afghanistan in Wormsley last week, taking two wickets in 10 overs.
With the winners of the competition going on to play the lowest-ranked Test team in a bid to become the 11th Test-playing nation, Bracewell has been able to call on all his county-based players against the part-timers from the UAE.