Ireland name Shannon in World Cup Qualifier squad


Shannon has only made one full one-day international appearance – against Pakistan in 2013

Batsman James Shannon has returned to a 15-man Ireland squad for the World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe in February and March.

The Northern Knights right-hander, 27, is rewarded for a prolific 2017 in inter-provincial and club cricket.

“This is his chance to reproduce that form at international level,” said Ireland coach Graham Ford.

“It’s going to be a very cut-throat competition with just two places on offer, but we’ve the ability to do it.”

Shannon’s last full international appearance came in a Twenty20 international against Hong Kong in September 2016.

Ireland are chasing a fourth consecutive qualification success and their five-team group includes top seeds West Indies.

The top three in each of the two groups progress to a Super Six competition, from which two will go through to the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

An experienced Ireland squad boasts 1,925 caps between the 15 players, with no fewer than eight of them winning more than 100 caps.

Stuart Poynter and Jacob Mulder are omitted from the squad that won the one-day international tri-series in Dubai last week.

Poynter is unavailable as his partner is expecting their first child in March.

“It’s unfortunate that Jacob misses out, but we have plenty of spin options in the squad,” added Ford.

“Experience is such a vital commodity, especially in high pressure situations which this tournament will certainly have.

“While it’s certainly an experienced line-up, there is a nice balance of younger players in there too. It certainly won’t be through lack of hard work or preparation if we don’t make it.”

Ireland World Cup Qualifier squad:

William Porterfield (Formby/Warriors, capt), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke/Lightning), Peter Chase (Malahide/Lightning), George Dockrell (Leinster/Lightning), Ed Joyce (Merrion/Lightning), Andrew McBrine (Donemana/Warriors), Barry McCarthy (Durham), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union/Lightning), Niall O’Brien (Nantwich/Warriors, wk), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), James Shannon (Instonians/Knights), Simi Singh (YMCA/Lightning), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire, wk).

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