Cricket Ireland: Joyce and McBrine return for tri-series against Scotland and UAE

New Ireland head coach Graham Ford will be taking charge of the team for the first time
New Ireland head coach Graham Ford will be taking charge of the team for the first time

Ed Joyce and Andy McBrine have been recalled to the Ireland squad for the tri-series against Scotland and UAE in Dubai next month.

Joyce, who missed the Intercontinental Cup victory over Scotland and the ODI series win against Afghanistan, has recovered from a knee injury.

McBrine will take the place of Tim Murtagh, who is rested for the tour.

Ireland will play four matches against hosts UAE and Scotland in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers in March.

Joyce was named in the original squad for Ireland's final Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in November and the subsequent three-game ODI series against Afghanistan in Sharjah but the veteran batsman was forced to withdraw after damaging his knee during a warm weather training camp.

Donemana all-rounder McBrine, who made his first-class debut against Scotland in 2014, has also been selected in the 15-man panel.

"We can't underestimate how good the series win in Sharjah was against Afghanistan. It was undoubtedly one of the most satisfying for the players and staff in recent times," said Andrew White, the new chair of the national men's selectors.

"We've opted to leave Tim Murtagh at home to prepare for the long tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe as the staff continue to manage his workload."

It will be the first tour under new Ireland head coach Graham Ford, who succeeded John Bracewell earlier this month.

"The lads will be looking to build up more positive momentum prior to the World Cup Qualifiers, gaining confidence from those recent wins in the last month," Ford said.

"There is plenty of hard work needed through this crucial preparation period. The players are very much up for it and realise the importance of making the most of this game time in the sunshine and outdoor facilities."

Although not part of the squad, Craig Young will travel to Dubai as he continues his rehabilitation from an elbow injury.

Tri-Nations Series
Ireland v UAE, 11 January
Ireland v UAE, 13 January
Ireland v Scotland, 16 January
Ireland v Scotland, 18 January

Ireland Squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Jacob Mulder, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson.

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