Ireland have made one change to the one-day international squad that contested the tri-series against Bangladesh and West Indies for their upcoming encounter with Afghanistan.
Right-arm seamer Tyrone Kane has been called up, while left-armer Josh Little has been rested. Kane is uncapped in ODIs, with one Test and six T20I appearances to his name, while Little made his ODI debut earlier this summer against England, and has been ever-present for Ireland since.
“During the tri-series Josh reported some minor back pain related to bowling,” said Mark Rausa, Ireland’s head of physiotherapy. “A precautionary scan showed a small area of bone stress in an area commonly seen in fast bowlers.
“We take these findings very seriously given the potential for such stress responses to develop into a more serious stress fracture that could put Josh out of action for up to three months if he were to continue bowling. We want to rest Josh from bowling for around four weeks and begin rehab immediately in preparation for the Zimbabwe series at the beginning of July.”
Ireland have endured a tough start to their international summer, losing all four completed ODIs against England, West Indies, and Bangladesh, but have been able to take some positives, with their batsmen crossing 300 against West Indies and coming close to doing so against Bangladesh, and their bowlers reducing England to 66/5 in their pursuit of 199, threatening to give the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 favourites a shock.
“The first few months of 2019 have shown the talent and potential within Irish cricket, and the emergence of new players on the international stage,” said Andrew White, Ireland’s chair of national men’s selectors. “Indeed in just the first half of this calendar year we have seen five players make their ODI debuts. With Tyrone [Kane] joining the squad for the Afghanistan series, he is in contention to be a sixth ODI debutant.
“We have not shied away from the fact that our senior men’s international squad is in a transition period. This is not an overnight process, and it will take time and patience to bring through new players into the international set-up.
“We have recently seen some fantastic batting performances against quality bowlers led by some of the more senior players – including some big centuries which are needed at this level to build competitive totals or to chase down big targets.
“The bowling unit has shown glimpses of what we are working towards – and feedback from coaching staff is that given we don’t have the out-and-out pace or mystery spin variations of other top sides, we are working very much on the ability of our bowling unit to perform more consistently with a disciplined line day-in and day-out against world-class opposition batters."
Ireland will play two ODIs against Afghanistan on 19 and 21 May.
Squad: William Porterfield (c), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Tyrone Kane, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson
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