Ahead of the imminent Cricket World Cup on home soil, England will commence their preparations by travelling across the Irish Sea to play a one-off ODI against Ireland at the picturesque ground at Malahide Cricket Club on Friday.
England have named a squad of 13 players for the match against the side ranked 12th in ODI cricket. Much debate over the past few weeks has been the question over whether Jofra Archer will be making his international debut for England on Friday.
The simple answer to that is a very good chance indeed. This is the type of game that the selectors will be looking to take a look at the Sussex quick bowler, so he may be given a chance.
On paper you would have to say no but cast your minds back to a famous date in Irish cricket history. The day in question was March 2nd 2011. The venue Bengalura in India and the event, The Cricket World Cup.
Ireland pulled of a sensational result by defeating England by three wickets with just five balls remaining. Despite 92 from Jonathan Trott and 81 from Ian Bell, the hero of the day was a certain batsman playing in Green, namely Kevin O’Brien. Dubliner O’Brien, smashed 113 off only 63 balls including six 6’s and 13 fours to see Ireland home to an historic victory.
England looking for further Irish favour
England have only played Ireland once before in 50 over cricket and that was back in 2006 in Belfast. The visitors made 301 for 7 in their allocated 50 overs with Marcus Trescothick hitting a run a ball 114 and Bell adding an 80. Despite a half century from Ant Botha, the hosts were always struggling and eventually made 263 for 9 with Steve Harmison taking 3 for 58 as England won by 38 runs.
The Irish have played in 137 ODI’s with a record of 60 wins. Coached by former South African batsman Graham Ford and captained by William Porterfield, the Irish can call on the services of three players who currently ply their trade in English county cricket. The Middlesex pair of Paul Stirling and the experienced Tim Murtagh, alongside Durham’s Stuart Poynter make up the trio.
Visitors rocked by late injury
Sam Billings, who was named in England’s squad of 14, has been ruled out of England’s games against Ireland and the forthcoming ODI series against Pakistan. The Kent wicketkeeper dislocated his left shoulder when playing in a Royal London Cup match for his county against Glamorgan recently. The selectors have called up the in form Surrey keeper Ben Foakes to replace the unlucky Billings.
With no JonnyBairstow and Jos Buttler available – due to both returning recently from the IPL – Foakes is the obvious choice to be handed the gloves. Already averaging 57 in this seasons Royal London One Day Cup competition and immaculate glove work, this is his big chance to put down a marker ahead of the forthcoming World Cup.
The only slight concern is that Foakes as yet is still to represent England in any form of white ball cricket. However, he certainly has the temperament to deal with this form of the game.
England’s preparations for their ODI game against Ireland were dealt another blow at the weekend when it was announced that Alex Hales had been suspended following an off-field incident. The Nottinghamshire batsman has been banned for 21 days for recreational drug use.
Hales, is currently suspended at present, having fallen foul of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s recreational drugs policy for the second time in his career. Hales, attended England’s training camp at Cardiff at the weekend, but on Monday was dropped from the squad.
England 13-man squad to play Ireland: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (c), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Plunkett (Surrey), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), David Willey (Yorkshire), Mark Wood (Durham)
England play Ireland in a one-off One Day International at the Village in Dublin, on Friday 3 May
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