Ireland vs. England Cricket 2013: Two Irish Players Who Might Play for England
England head to Malahide on Tuesday to take on Ireland in an unofficial one-day international ahead of upcoming clashes with Australia, and they will do so with two former Ireland internationals among their ranks.
Both Eoin Morgan and Boyd Rankin will take on their former nation in the blue of England, much to the consternation of many involved with Irish cricket.
Meanwhile, another to have made the switch—Ed Joyce—will represent Ireland in the encounter, having reverted back to his original country after a brief period wearing the three lions of England.
So, then, let's take a look at two Ireland players who may interest the England selectors in the future.
Paul Stirling (Middlesex)
Middlesex batsman Stirling sprang to wider prominence earlier this year with two one-day international centuries against Pakistan in Dublin.
With an average of 39 in the short form of the game for his country, Stirling's potential is clear and has been since he broke the national record to strike a 134-ball 177 against Canada as a 19-year-old in 2010.
Of stocky build, Stirling looks to amass runs quickly and strike the ball powerfully around the ground when he gets his eye in. For all his success internationally, though, he has not yet proven himself at first-class level—an area where England would need to see improvement.
@cricketireland Paul Stirling is going to play Test cricket for England.— Mark Cooper (@MarkCooper) September 1, 2013
In 18 first-class matches to date, Stirling has averaged just 29 for his county—despite having a good conversion rate of three centuries and four half-centuries.
The hope will be that the Irishman can find the consistency needed to become a regular big-scorer at first-class level. He is clearly talented and, without doubt, England will be monitoring his progress carefully in the coming years.
George Dockrell (Somerset)
Young left-arm spinner Dockrell will have been on the England radar for some time, having made his one-day international debut in 2010 at the age of just 17.
Now 21, Dockrell is a consistent performer at county level and boasts an impressive bowling average of 27 and strike rate of 39 in one-day internationals for Ireland.
Dockrell, the 2012 ICC Associate Nation Player of the Year, comes into the match on a high, having taken a six-wicket haul for his county against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in his last outing 10 days ago.
The haul was the second first-class six-wicket return of the youngster's career, having taken a career best of 6-27 in a county championship game against Middlesex last year. In total, he has already taken six five-wicket hauls at first-class level.
England will already be monitoring Dockrell's career closely. He is a huge talent and, with time, could be of great use to the English side once Graeme Swann chooses to end his international career.
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