COLERAINE’S Scott Campbell has been named in the Ireland squad for the four-day clash against a very strong Australia A squad which gets under way in Belfast on Friday.
The 19-year-old left-arm spinner gets his first opportunity to impress coach Phil Simmons having been understudy to George Dockrell with whom he played in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia last year.
Simmons explained why the teenager has been given the chance: “Scott is the next spinner in line behind George. He’s impressed me when I’ve watched him bowl for Ireland A and the Under-19 side. These type of games against real top quality oppposition will be vital for him in his cricketing development and will help him improve.
“I’ve said before that four-day cricket is where players really learn how to play the game, and it’s great that the team are getting this type of exposure against high calibre opposition.”
Kevin O’Brien will skipper the Irish side and is delighted to be wearing the armband.
O’Brien said: “It’s always an honour to lead your country and I’m extremely proud to have been given the opportunity.
“There’s no doubt that it will be tough against a team with ten Test players and no fewer than seven of their Ashes squad.
“It’s a great opportunity for our players and I’m sure they will take it. You always want to test yourself against the best and their bowling attack will certainly be amongst the toughest we’ve faced in international cricket. It should be a great spectacle of cricket and a challenge I’m certainly looking forward to.”
The Australians were in dominant form over the weekend as they completed a 360-run win against Scotland in just three days.
Skipper Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle scored centuries, while there were seven wickets in the match for fast bowler James Pattinson.
It’s a great opportunity for Irish fans to see some high quality cricket, especially as Cricket Ireland have decided to waive any admission charge for the match at Stormont as a thank-you to fans for their support during the recent RSA Insurance ODI Series against Pakistan.
Ireland XI v Australia A, Stormont, June 14-17 (11am).
Ireland squad: Kevin O’Brien (captain) (Railway Union), John Anderson (Merrion), Scott Campbell (Coleraine), Peter Connell (Strabane), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), Phil Eaglestone (Waringstown), Trent Johnston (YMCA), John Mooney (North County), Stuart Poynter(Clontarf/MCCYC), James Shannon (Instonians), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton), Andrew White (Instonians).
Australia A squad: Brad Haddin (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Chadd Sayers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Patrick Cummins.