Cricket Ireland (CI) has announced the 14-player Ireland Women squad for the upcoming white-ball home series against South Africa. Notably, South Africa’s tour of Ireland will begin with three T20Is, starting on June 3, ahead of three ODIs from June 11-17. The three ODIs will be part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
As a result of injuries and player unavailability – primarily due to school or college exams – many first choice players are not part of the outfit.
Regular captain Laura Delany (recovering from injury) is also unavailable, and in place of her, Gaby Lewis will lead the international side for the first time. Notably, Lewis already has 88 caps so far and is Ireland Women’s fifth-highest run-scorer across all formats.
“While it’s unfortunate that we are without our skipper Laura Delany, It’s an absolute honour to be asked to captain Ireland for the first time. The opportunity to take on one of the world’s leading sides is one I am relishing, and I know the squad is looking forward to the challenge,” said Lewis in an official statement.
“One of the benefits of a competitive domestic Super Series is that – even with up to nine players missing – we are still able to bring in a talented group of players as cover, showing that we are growing our player pool and developing our emerging talent in the right way,” she added.
The selectors have picked a few possible debutants in the 14-player squad, including New Zealand-born Arlene Kelly, who represents Auckland Hearts in the New Zealand domestic circuit. Other players are Alana Dalzell, Sarah Forbes and Kate McEvoy. Further, Jane Maguire is also in line to make her T20I debut if she gets selected.
Ireland Women’s squad for South Africa series:
Gaby Lewis (captain), Alana Dalzell, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Sarah Forbes, Shauna Kavanagh, Arlene Kelly, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Kate McEvoy, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Celeste Raack, Mary Waldron.