Afghanistan v Ireland 2016-17 January 30, 2017

Mulder named in squad to play Afghanistan

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Jacob Mulder has been called up to Ireland's Intercontinental Cup squad © Peter Della Penna

Ireland have selected a full-strength squad for their Intercontinental Cup fixture with Afghanistan in March, with legspinner Jacob Mulder in line for a first-class debut. Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien and Tim Murtagh are also included, having missed the Desert T20 - where Ireland lost to Afghanistan in the final - earlier this month.

Ireland are currently top of the Intercontinental Cup table with four wins from four, leading Afghanistan by 19 points. The Intercontinental Cup is expected to provide a pathway into Test cricket, with the winner facing a play-off with the lowest-ranked Test nation in 2018.

Ahead of the four-day match, Ireland and Afghanistan will play three T20s and five ODIs; all of the fixtures will take place in Greater Noida, India. Two ODIs have also been arranged against UAE on March 2 and 4 as part of Ireland's training camp.

"It's great to have such a wealth of experience to choose from," Ireland's head coach, John Bracewell, said. "We had a full squad available which hasn't been the case with injuries in recent times but it's great to have everyone back with such a busy programme in March.

"While we haven't been at our best in limited-overs cricket in recent times we have a great record in the Intercontinental Cup where we've won all our four games taking full points.

"The players are all fully focused on winning the competition for a fifth time, especially with the chance of playing Test cricket on offer. Ed Joyce has been in supreme form in the tournament with two double hundreds and he clearly looks like a man on a mission.

"Young Jacob Mulder was the stand-out bowler in the T20 and the selectors felt he deserved his opportunity in the longer format. With the conditions in India likely to be spin-friendly his legspin gives us added variety which could be so important."

Boyd Rankin will be rested for the matches in the UAE, but will join up with Ireland during the 10-day training camp to prepare for the Afghanistan games.

Australia-born batsman Nick Larkin, who played twice for Ireland in 2014, has however ruled himself out of involvement for the time being.

"After a lengthy period of discussion between Cricket Ireland and Nick Larkin, the player has finally clarified that his focus right now is on advancing his career with the NSW Blues in Australia," Cricket Ireland's performance director, Richard Holdsworth, said. "He is contracted there until 2018 and is not therefore available for Ireland during that period."

Ireland Intercontinental Cup squad: William Porterfield, John Anderson, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Ireland ODI squad v UAE: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Ireland ODI squad v Afghanistan: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

T20I squad v Afghanistan: William Porterfield, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Jacob Mulder, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Greg Thompson, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on February 20, 2017, 14:25 GMT

    Just found out that two Afghan players got picked to play in IPL shows our talent and we appreciate the Indian help towards development of our team and players. as for Ireland vs Afghanistan Ireland is a good team but also Afghanistan is not the same team it was years ago they have improved alot in a short span of time. I believe Afghanistan is the favorite go blues

  • AKASHABHARDWAJ on February 4, 2017, 4:54 GMT

    Good Luck Ireland for all these matches and i hope u win all these matches with big margin

  • OurMan on February 1, 2017, 14:56 GMT

    A lot of unfair criticism being thrown Ireland's way here. People talking as if Ireland has the same pool of players to pick from as the countries they are competing against. Only in the last 2-3 years has our domestic structure been up to standard hence why we have only seen young talent begin to come through in the last 16 months. Before that it was the same 14-15 players that carried us for 4/5 years because it was get a contract in county cricket or you played as a past-time back home. As for that core group, don't mistake being around a long time as being old and past it. Porterfield I'm sure would be the first to admit his white ball cricket has been poor over the last 18 months but I've no doubt in my mind he is the man to lead us in ODI's and Multi-day cricket. He's 32, not 42. Hardly old for a batsman, most don't see their best form until they hit 30 anyway. He's our leading century maker and will hopefully make a few more before he even thinks about calling it a day.

  • Markdal on February 1, 2017, 9:05 GMT

    statsnerd67, that was the first thing I thought as well. Also being born in 1995 in Perth makes it likely.

  • Alim2658 on February 1, 2017, 4:42 GMT

    As we can see, now a days my blue tigers, my heart and my own (Afghanistan) is in best position and now it is time to beat Ireland very easily, Inshallah in next matches against Ireland my team will be winner because now it is not 2009 or 2010, that Ireland were more stronger and even they didn't care about Afghanistan, but now Afghanistan is most danger alarm for most of full members, now it is time for Zimbabwe in February and we will look with Ireland at March.

  • virendra_s on January 31, 2017, 15:35 GMT

    I don't know what Irish selectors find so special in William Porterfield?

  • cricfan93267729 on January 31, 2017, 10:12 GMT

    this is the most interesting match among non test teams,go boys in green!

  •   Gyan Singh on January 31, 2017, 9:03 GMT

    Go Ireland, defend your #1 position!!

  • StatsNerd67 on January 31, 2017, 8:11 GMT

    Jacob Mulder was born in Perth. Anyone know if he's related to Brett Mulder?

  • mihir_nam on January 31, 2017, 5:41 GMT

    Afghanistan are playing ZIM A in 4 Day games . Is Ireland also playing some Indian Domestic Sided before play Afghanistan . Or atleast against Pakistan A in UAE .

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