O’Brien returns to Ireland squad for Aussie international

Cricket. 'LV= County Championship, Northants V Hampshire. 'Niall O'Brien.
Cricket. 'LV= County Championship, Northants V Hampshire. 'Niall O'Brien.
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Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien has been called up to the Ireland squad to take on Australia in a one-day international in Belfast on June 23.

After choosing to play in the Bangladesh Twenty20 competition, O’Brien had missed out on some important games for his country.

But coach Phil Simmons has welcomed him back - albeit with a slight warning,

Simmons said: “There’s no doubt he’s among the best 14 players that Ireland have, but Gary Wilson did superbly in the UAE, so Niall knows he’s going to have work hard and be at his best to regain the gloves.”

Selection issues aside, captain William Porterfield is relishing the prospect of taking on the Australians.

“It’s going to be another fantastic occasion in Belfast as we take on Australia,” he said.

“We relish the opportunity to take on the top teams and they don’t come much bigger than the number one-ranked team. We missed a great chance to beat them in Dublin in 2010 but we’re learning all the time and have gained more experience of getting over the finishing line as we showed against England in the World Cup last year.

“Playing in front of your home fans gives all the players a great buzz, and with a capacity crowd behind us we’ll be doing our level best to capture another full-member scalp.”

Ireland have included in Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh to a 13-strong squad.

Squad: W Porterfield (captain, Warwickshire), A Cusack (Clontarf), G Dockrell (Somerset), T Johnston (YMCA), E Joyce (Sussex), J Mooney (North County), T Murtagh (Middlesex), K O’Brien (Railway Union/Somerset), N O’Brien (Northamptonshire), M Sorensen (The Hills), P Stirling (Middlesex), A White (Instonians), G Wilson (Surrey).