|World Twenty20 Cup Qualifier: Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 2008|
WT20 squads confirmed
The best cricketers in the six Associate countries are gearing up for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held in Belfast , Ireland from 2 to 5 August.
The teams featuring in the tournament are Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland and Kenya and at stake will be three places in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 being staged in England.
Both finalists and winner of the third and fourth place play-off from this event will qualify for the tournament which will take place at Lordís, The Oval and Trent Bridge next June.
The third place in the ICC WT20 2009 is dependent on Zimbabwe Cricketís Board ratifying a decision taken by its officials during ICC Annual Conference week, to step back from the tournament.
Top seed Ireland will be led by 23-year-old left-handed batsman William Porterfield who plays for Gloucestershire in the county championship in the UK . Porterfield succeeded Trent Johnston after the tour of Bangladesh earlier this year.
Porterfield has not captained Ireland in an ODI or ICC Intercontinental Cup match but has led his team in five Friends Provident Trophy tournament matches in the UK . Although his side lost four of the matches, Porterfield inspired his team to a four-wicket victory over Warwickshire which was Ireland ís first win over a county side in two years. Porterfield scored 69 in that match as Ireland achieved the target of 212 in 46.4 overs in Stormont.
Porterfield missed Ireland ís last two Friends Provident Trophy matches against Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire and the tri-series in Aberdeen against New Zealand and Scotland earlier this month as he was on duty with Gloucestershire.
Johnston, who masterminded Ireland ís greatest cricket success with wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in 2007, is also staging a comeback after announcing he was taking a break from international following the tour of Bangladesh in March.
The 36-year-old Steve Tikolo will lead second seed Kenya which includes 11 players who participated in the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. Captain since 2002, Tikolo was instrumental in not only earning an ODI status for Kenya but also a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 1999 when he scored 147 against Bangladesh in the ICC World Cup Qualifier (formerly the ICC Trophy) in 1997.
Thomas Odoyo, who won the Associate ODI Player of the Year award at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg in 2007, is the other most experienced player, having played in all four ICC Cricket World Cups that Kenya has participated in.
Third seed Scotland , like Kenya , has opted for continuity and has named a squad that has just three changes from the side that participated in the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa last year.
The Scots will be led by 32-year-old batsman Ryan Watson who scored a 43-ball century for Scotland against Durham in a National League match in 2003 and also played a match-winning knock of 94 against Ireland in the final of the 2005 ICC World Cup Qualifier (former the ICC Trophy).
The side includes former England batsman Gavin Hamilton who played his only Test against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1999.
Others with county championship experience in the UK include fast bowler John Blain (Northamptonshire and Yorkshire), Dewald Nel (Worcestershire), Kyle Coetzer ( Durham ) and Navdeep Poonia (Warwickshire).
The Netherlands are seeded fourth in the tournament and will be captained by 25 year-old all-rounder Peter Borren, who was a member of the New Zealand side at the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in 2002.
Other experienced names in the squad are Tom de Grooth, who attended the ICC Winter Training Camp in 2005, Alexei Kervezee, who also plays for Worcestershire, all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate, who plays for Essex, 31-year-old batsman Bas Zuiderent, who has played for Sussex , Mudassar Bukhari and Edgar Schiferli.
38-year-old John Davison returns to bolster an inexperienced Canada which will be captained by Sanjay Thuraisingam. Davison last played for Canada in May 2007 and works as a coach at Australia ís Centre of Excellence.
Davison scored a century off 67 balls against the West Indies at the ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa in 2003. He also took 10 wickets in that tournament.
Another player in the squad, Sunil Dhaniram, played first-class cricket for Guyana in the 1992/93 season.
The squad also includes talented wicketkeeper-batsman Ashish Bagai who represented the Americas in the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup 2000. Bagai attended the ICC Winter Camp in 2006 and went on to win the player-of-the-tournament award at the ICC World Cricket League Division One the following year.
Bermuda, the sixth team in the event, is undergoing through a transitional phase and includes just seven players which were part of the squad that played in the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.
The squad is led by 36-year-old all-rounder Irving Romaine and also includes 37-year-old left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock.
Bermuda will be relying heavily on the experience of David Hemp who captains Glamorgan in the county championship in the UK . Hemp has played in 41 T20 matches in which he has a strike-rate of little under 123.
BERMUDA - Irving Romaine (captain), David Hemp, Rodney Trott, Oliver Pitcher Jr, Christopher Foggo, James Celestine, Oronde Bascome, Tamauri Tucker, Stefan Kelly, George O'Brien, Jekon Edness, Stephen Outerbridge, Dwayne Leverock, Kevin Hurdle; Lionel Thomas (manager), Augustine Logie (coach), Herbert Bascome (assistant coach).
CANADA - Sanjay Thuraisingam (captain), Ashish Bagai, Abdool Samad, Abdul Jabbar Chaudrey, Geoffrey Barnett, Henry Osinde, Harvir Baidwan, Eion Katchay, Sunil Dhaniram, John Davison, Muhammad Qazi, Abdus Sami Faridi, Karun Jethi, Steven Welsh; Miokje Henry (manager), Pubudu Dassanayake (coach), Dan Kiesel (physiotherapist)
IRELAND - Wiliiam Porterfield (captain), Niall O'Brien, Eoin Morgan, Kevin O'Brien, Andre Botha, Andrew White, Alex Cusack, Gary Wilson, Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, Thinus Fourie, Peter Connell, Philip Eaglestone, Gary Kidd; Roy Torrens (manager), Phil Simmons (coach), Peter Johnston (assistant coach), Kieran O'Reilly (physiotherapist)
KENYA - Steve Tikolo (captain), Thomas Odoyo, Kennedy Otieno, Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo, Ondik Suji, Hiren Varaiya, Rakep Patel, Morris Ouma, James Kamande, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Alex Obanda, Ragheb Aga; Davinder Singh Bharij (manager), Andrew Kirsten (coach), Martin Armon Suji (assistant coach), Joseph Mutisya Muthike (Physiotherapist), Alfred Njuguna Njoroge (match analyst)
NETHERLANDS - Peter Borren (captain), Mudassar Bukhari, Daan Van Bunge, Tom De Grooth, Maurits Jonkman, Alexei Kervezee, Geert M. Mol, Pieter Seelaar, Darron Reekers, Edgar Schiferli, Jelte Schoonheim, Eric Szwarzcyniski, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent; Ed Van Nierop (manager), Peter Drinnen (coach), Thijs Risselada (physiotherapist)
SCOTLAND - Ryan Watson (captain), Gregor Maiden, Navdeep Poonia, Colin Smith, Gavin Hamilton, Fraser Watts, Richard Berrington, Majid Haq, John Blain, Kyle Coetzer, Glenn Rogers, Dewald Nel, Neil McCallum, Gordon Drummond; Jim McClymont (manager), Peter Steindl (coach), Andrew Rasselli (physiotherapist)
Meanwhile, the ICC has also confirmed details of umpire and match referee appointments for the tournament.
The tournament will be overseen by Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees while the on-field duties for the 11 matches will be split between Darrell Hair of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Paul Baldwin (Germany), Sarika Prasad (Singapore) and Niels Bagh (Denmark) of the ICC Associate and Affiliates International Umpires Panel.
Individual match appointments will be made in due course.