KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Ex-MCC Young Cricketer (YC) and New Zealand international Hamish Marshall has been named in the Ireland squad for the upcoming tour of India.
Former Middlesex batsman Ed Joyce is also amongst the 17-stong party, led by ex-YC and MCC Universities graduate Will Porterfield.
The national squad, coached by former West Indies international Phil Simmons, are playing four non-international matches in preparation for the ICC World Cup on the Sub-Continent next year.
Joyce has made clear his desire to return to Ireland colours, after playing 17 One Day Internationals for England in 2006 and 2007.
Marshall meanwhile, who played 66 ODIs and 13 Tests for the Black Caps, announced his intention to resume his international career with Ireland earlier this year.
Both players will have to wait until April 2011 before they are officially qualified, but the Ireland Cricket Board have asked for special dispensation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow them to play in the World Cup, which starts in February.
The tour of India is a huge part of Phil Simmons’ team’s preparation and Marshall and Joyce’s presence should prove a huge boost to the squad.
Marshall’s new start
Since graduating as a YC in 1998 Marshall, whose identical twin brother James has played seven Tests and 10 ODI’s for New Zealand, has forged an impressive career with his country as well as Gloucestershire.
His six year Test career included two standout centuries, both in 2005 - a 146 against arch rivals Australia and a top-score of 160 against Sri Lanka.
Ironically the 31-year-old's last appearance for the Black Caps was against Ireland - a 129-run win in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.
Role: Right-hand batsman