Irish selectors ring changes for Gloucestershire clash
The Irish selectors have been forced to ring the changes for the Ireland A squad which will play Gloucestershire II's in a three day game at Bath starting on Monday.
Five of the side which lost to Kent by 8 wickets are unavailable, with Tom Fisher, Allan Eastwood, Andrew Poynter and Lee Nelson all working, and Scott Campbell doing examinations.
Recalled to the squad after a three year absence is Limavady opening bowler Andrew Britton, whose last representative appearance came in the senior ranks against Kenya in 2009.
Andrew Balbirnie is available once again, while Shane Getkate returns following a knee injury. Max Sorensen is included subject to obtaining the necessary visa, and top order batsman Ben Ackland is included.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons is a great advocate of multi-day cricket, saying: "You can take part in Twenty20 and fifty over cricket all your life and not learn to play the game. This type of three day fixture is a great vehicle for teaching players how to build an innings and the value of patience. The bowlers have to learn how to build pressure and take wickets on flat tracks.
"In the game against Kent, I thought several of our batsmen looked good and got starts but didn't kick on the way Daniel Bell-Drummond did with the big hundred. Chris Dougherty, Tom Fisher, James Shannon and Stuart Thompson all did well but 40's and 50's don't win you games. The big positive for me in the game with Kent was the performance of Lee Nelson who batted well in both innings - but again didn't make the big score you need when you get in on these wickets."
On the selection for the game with Gloucestershire, Simmons added: "There's availability problems but it presents others with opportunities. I've been hearing good reports from the NW about Britton, and it's a chance for him to show us what he can do. We won't be overbowling Getkate who is just returning to cricket, while Sorensen showed what he is capable of during the World Twenty20 qualifiers in Dubai in March."
Ireland A squad v Gloucestershire II May 28-30:
James Shannon (captain) (Instonians), Ben Ackland (Merrion), John Anderson (Merrion), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Andrew Britton (Limavady), Adam Coughlan (North County), Chris Dougherty (CIYMS), Phil Eaglestone (Strabane), Shane Getkate (North County), Rory McCann (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Limavady).