IRELAND have unveiled a new look squad for a three-match series against an England XI, followed by a quadrangular tournament in South Africa in May.
There are no fewer than seven uncapped players named in the 15-player squad, with Aoife Beggs, Rachel Delany, Louise Little, Lara Maritz, Sophie McMahon, Leah Paul and Rebecca Stokell all in line to make their debuts.
Ireland face hosts South Africa, Zimbabwe and India in the Quadrangular tournament, but before then they will warm up with three 50 over matches against an England XI in the UAE.
“We are very grateful to the ECB for agreeing to play three matches against an England XI,” said Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth. “These matches will not only serve as very useful preparation for the Quadrangular Series in South Africa, but also an excellent development opportunity for our players.
“We hope this will lead to more fixtures with England in time, as we further develop this young squad and push for inclusion in the ICC Women’s Championship in the future.”
Ireland Head Coach Aaron Hamilton welcomed the additional matches for his young charges despite the absence of many of his established internationals.
“This is a great opportunity the younger talent in our system to gain valuable international experience and show the cricketing world what they can do,” said Hamilton.
“I’m relishing working with this squad over the next four weeks in the lead up to the England games and seeing the personalities of these players unfold on this tour.
“These two series will assist both women’s cricket in Ireland and the players in this group immensely going forward. Each season the female youth structures are getting better and better so this is just another step in the right direction for Irish women’s cricket.”
The matches against the England XI will take place on the 24th, 26th and 28th of April, while the Quadrangular Series takes place from May 7-21.
Laura Delany (capt) (Leinster/Dragons), Aoife Beggs (YMCA/Scorchers), Laura Boylan (The Hills/Typhoons), Rachel Delaney (Merrion/Dragons, Jennifer Gray (YMCA/ Dragons), Shauna Kavanagh (Pembroke/Dragons), Amy Kenealy (Leinster/Typhoons), Gaby Lewis (YMCA/Dragons), Louise Little (Pembroke/Scorchers), Lara Maritz (Malahide/ Dragons), Sophie MacMahon (Leinster/Typhoons), Lucy O’Reilly (YMCA, Scorchers), Leah Paul (Merrion/Typhoons), Rebecca Stokell (Leinster/Dragons), Mary Waldron (Malahide/ Dragons)
*Lucy O’Reilly will play in the games versus England XI only
+Rebecca Stokell will play in the Quadrangular Series only