Chopra drafted into Ireland U19 squad

Varun Chopra (centre) pictured with his uncle Tim (left) and brother Rishi at last week's trophy presentation. Picture by Barry Chambers / Press Eye
Varun Chopra (centre) pictured with his uncle Tim (left) and brother Rishi at last week's trophy presentation. Picture by Barry Chambers / Press Eye

It has been quite a week for Coleraine spinner Varun Chopra.

Just days after being presented with the NW Premiership title with the Bannsiders, Varun received the news he has been drafted into the Ireland squad for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifying tournament in Malaysia next month.

The repechage event will feature five teams battling it out for the final place at the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh early next year.

“We played some excellent cricket at the European qualifiers in Jersey this summer, winning five of our six games,” said U19 coach Ryan Eagleson. “Unfortunately we fell at the final hurdle, losing to Scotland in the decisive final game. That was a bitter pill to swallow - missing out by virtue of NRR, but this event gives us a chance to rectify that.

“The tournament will be a tough one, especially with the hot and humid conditions we’ll encounter. I’ve been there five times as a player and coach, so know exactly what’s facing us, and the players will be well prepared.

“We are planning to arrive early and have lined up a few practice matches against local opposition which will help greatly with the acclimatisation.

“We’ve decided to make two changes to the attack, with Varun Chopra and Josh Little coming in. Varun has had an outstanding season at domestic level helping Coleraine to the Premier title, and bowling superbly for both our European title winning U15 and 17 sides. He’s an exciting prospect who we have high hopes for.