Cricket Ireland on Wednesday announced that the 14-member squad, led by captain Andrew Balbirnie, which recently played against New Zealand in a three-match T20I series, has been retained for the upcoming series against South Africa and Afghanistan.
Ireland will play against South Africa at Bristol on August 3 and 5, followed by the first three matches of the subsequent five-match T20Is against Afghanistan to be played at Stormont on August 9, 11 and 12, followed by the last two T20Is on August 15 and 17.
Ireland hosted India for two T20Is on June 26 and 28, with the visitors winning the series 2-0, including a narrow four-run win in the second game. They recently hosted New Zealand in their 2022 home summer, losing both ODI and T20I series 3-0 despite coming close to unbelievable wins on many occasions.
“We are now getting down to the final stages of our preparations as we build towards the Men’s T20 World Cup in October. The squad has faced two high-quality opponents in recent weeks, in India and New Zealand, and have stern tests ahead against South Africa and Afghanistan.
“We believe, while the results have not gone our way, the brand of cricket that (head coach) Heinrich Malan is instilling in the squad is showing positive signs and the players are beginning to equip themselves well as they build towards the World Cup in Australia.
“We have, however, sought to give ourselves a level of selection flexibility later in the Afghan series, and will announce a squad for the final two T20Is of that series in due course,” said Andrew White, Chair of National Men’s Selectors.
It is expected that a provisional Ireland squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be announced in late August, with the final squad to be confirmed in early September.
The squad will undertake a series of match-scenario and skills-based training camps in September behind closed doors as they complete their preparations for the tournament.
Ireland squad: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker and Craig Young.