Rory McCann replaces Niall O'Brien in Ireland T20 squad

Rory McCann will replace Niall O'Brien in the 14-man Ireland squad for next month's ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers.

The selectors said last month that O'Brien would be omitted after not making himself available for all of the current tour of Kenya because of his Bangladesh Premier League commitments.

Albert van der Merwe is also left out despite taking 11 wickets in the Intercontinental Cup win over Kenya.

Middlesex's Tim Murtagh also misses out despite becoming eligible for Ireland.

Both Murtagh, who recently obtained an Irish passport, and Van der Merwe are among four replacements who will be on standby to join the Irish squad in the United Arab Emirates.

The other replacements are Andrew Poynter and James Shannon.

The squad is along expected lines, with 12 of the players having been selected for the 2011 World Cup squad.

Ireland's World T20 fixtures

  • 13 March: Namibia (Dubai)
  • 14 March: Kenya (Dubai)
  • 15 March: Italy (Abu Dhabi)
  • 16 March: USA (Dubai)
  • 18 March: Scotland (Dubai)
  • 19 March: Uganda (Dubai)
  • 20 March: Oman (Abu Dhabi)

McCann edges out Stuart Poynter in the battle to replace Niall O'Brien while Hills all-rounder Max Sorensen is also included in the squad.

"Stuart Poynter was unlucky to miss out but we felt that given the prolific form that Rory McCann showed in domestic cricket in 2011 in the NCU, that he deserved his chance," said chairman of selectors Ross McCollum.

"We felt that the squad that had been preparing together all through the winter deserved the opportunity to gain qualification.

"While we haven't named Tim Murtagh or Albert van der Merwe in the 14, both are in our named replacements and we'll have no hesitation in bringing either in if any injuries occur."

Ireland have been drawn in Group B in the 16-team tournament alongside Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Uganda, Kenya, USA, and Italy for the competition which takes place from 13-24 March.

Two qualification places are on offer with the successful teams travelling to Sri Lanka in September.

The winners will be placed in the same group as Australia and West Indies while England and India await the second qualifer.

Following the conclusion of their current tour in Kenya, the team will travel for a training camp in South Africa, where they will also play three Twenty20 fixtures against the Warriors.

Ireland squad: W Porterfield (Warwickshire, capt), A Cusack (Clontarf), G Dockrell (Somerset), T Johnston (Railway Union), N Jones (CSN), E Joyce (Sussex), J Mooney (North County), R McCann (Instonians), K O'Brien (Railway Union), B Rankin (Warwickshire), M Sorensen (The Hills), P Stirling (Middlesex), A White (Instonians), G Wilson (Surrey).

Replacements: T Murtagh (Middlesex), A Poynter (Clontarf), J Shannon (Instonians), A van der Merwe (YMCA).