Ireland will play Australia at Belfast on August 27 © Getty Images
Ireland will play Australia at Belfast on August 27 © Getty Images

London: New Ireland coach John Bracewell Is looking forward to renewing a long-standing rivalry with Australia after the selectors named a 13-man squad on Thursday for their lone One-Day International (ODI) against the world champions Australia in Belfast on August 27. Former New Zealand off-spinner Bracewell, who enjoyed many a trans-Tasman clash in his playing days, was appointed to the Ireland job after the World Cup when Phil Simmons stood down to take charge of his native West Indies. The match at Belfast’s Stormont ground in two weeks’ time will be Australia’s first one-day international since they beat fellow tournament co-hosts New Zealand in the World Cup final in Melbourne in March, with non-Test nation Ireland only being denied a place in the last eight on net run-rate.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than a match against the Aussies, and I know the boys are all raring to go,” said Bracewell in a Cricket Ireland statement. After the World Cup, Australia captain Michael Clarke confirmed his retirement from one-day internationals. Next week’s Ashes finale at the Oval will see talented batsman Clarke call time on his Australia career completely, with England an unbeatable 3-1 up in the five-match Test series.

Steven Smith will be Australia’s captain for the Ireland match, ahead of leading his side in a lone Twenty 20s and five ODIs against England. “They’ve named a quality side and with a new captain taking over the reins it’s going to be extremely difficult, particularly with players looking to book their spot in the starting line-up for their series against England,” said Bracewell.

“But we’ve named a squad with buckets of experience with all bar one having been at the World Cup earlier this year, and nine of them have faced Australia at this venue. We know we’ve the quality to challenge the best in the world.” Experienced batsman William Porterfield, one of several players attached to English county sides, again captains Ireland, who saw their last major one-dayer, against England in Malahide in May, end in a no-result washout.

Ireland’s squad also contains nine survivors from the team which featured in their last encounter with Australia, at Stormont in 2012, which was abandoned because of bad weather after just 10.4 overs.  “We missed out on a really good chance at beating Australia a couple of years ago in Clontarf, and unfortunately no result was possible last time out at Stormont. We know we are a much improved side since then, and we’ve shown it on the world stage over the last few years,” said Porterfield.

Ireland squad:

William Porterfield (c), Niall O’Brien (wk), Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Andy McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young