Ireland Women name ICC World Twenty20 squad
Ireland have made one addition to their squad for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 with Merrion batter Kate McKenna joining the 14 players who won the qualification tournament in Bangkok last month.
There is also a new face in the backroom staff, with former Australian international Julia Price adding her considerable experience to the Irish camp when the tournament gets underway in India in March.
“It’s great to have Julia joining our support staff for the World Cup,” said Head Coach Aaron Hamilton. “Julia brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to the group,” he added.
Hamilton admitted the selectors had opted for the tried and tested, keeping faith with the players who had played so impressively in the qualifying campaign.
“We’ve gone with the fourteen who performed so well out at the qualifying tournament in Thailand, with Kate McKenna also coming into the squad.
“Kate is an electric fielder which is so important in the T20 game, and she will also bolster our batting line-up.”
Ireland have been drawn in Group A alongside Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa and Hamilton acknowledged it would be a major challenge for his squad
“We’ve a tough game first up against New Zealand, but the squad has been training together right through the winter and with three warm-ups against India, Bangladesh and Pakistan lined-up, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running.”
For Price - veteran of 10 Tests and 84 ODI’s with Australia, it’s an opportunity to pit her wits on the international stage having impressed as a coach in domestic cricket after her playing career finished.
“I’m very excited to be invited into the Irish women’s team sanctum and having the opportunity to attend a T20 World Cup as part of the coaching set-up.
“Having a good relationship with Ireland has already offered good opportunities for both countries to have players experiencing different environments and also allowing me to have some insight into Irish players Mary Waldron, Kim Garth and Una Raymond-Hoey.
“Hobart Hurricanes players Sasha Moloney and Brooke Hepburn and Tasmanian roar player Paris Crowe all got to play in Ireland this year and really benefit from the experience as I did back in 2000 when I played and coached with Merrion.”
Ireland’s first group encounter is against New Zealand in Mohali on Friday March 18, followed by Sri Lanka at the same venue two days later.
They face South Africa in Chennai on March 23, with their final group game against defending champions Australia in Delhi on March 26.
IRELAND WOMEN’S ICC WORLD TWENTY20 SQUAD
Isobel Joyce (capt) (Merrion), Catherine Dalton (Middlesex), Laura Delany (Leinster), Kim Garth (Pembroke), Jennifer Gray (YMCA), Cecelia Joyce (Merrion), Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke), Amy Kenealy (Leinster), Gaby Lewis (YMCA), Robyn Lewis (YMCA), Ciara Metcalfe (Pembroke), Kate McKenna (Merrion), Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA), Clare Shillington (YMCA), Mary Waldron (Malahide).
Aaron Hamilton (Head Coach), Sue O’Connor (Team Operations Manager), Alex Cusack (Assistant Coach), Julia Price (Assistant Coach), Niamh Connolly (Physiotherapist).