Ireland defend resting bowler Josh Little for England Test – ‘A special occasion, not a showpiece’ | Cricket News

Ireland have defended the absence of key player Josh Little for next week’s Lord’s Test against England, with the World Cup qualifier in June and July taking priority.

Little, who recently played in the IPL for the Gujarat Titans before featuring in a clean-ball series against Bangladesh, asked for a break after his busy schedule of limited overs.

Ireland will face teams such as the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Scotland in the 10-team World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe later this summer, with the top two nations reaching the competition proper in India in October and november.

Cricket Ireland’s high performance director Richard Holdsworth said: “What we need to understand is that while we are incredibly proud to be going to play against England at Lord’s… it’s a special occasion. , but it is not a flagship event.

Thursday June 1st 10:00 a.m.

“Going to a World Cup qualification where only 10 teams can qualify for the World Cup is always the biggest priority in the game as far as we are concerned. We made it clear at the start of our last strategy that our flagship events would be white ball cricket.

“Josh has been on the road for almost five months which in itself is very tiring physically and mentally. He first asked us if he could have a rest period before the World Cup qualifiers.

“Our management team and selectors have discussed the matter in detail and have amicably agreed that it is in the best interests of Josh and the team.

“A member with the funding we have just can’t commit to three game formats, it’s financially impossible.”

Gujarat Titans' Josh Little celebrates the sacking of Rajasthan Royals & 39;  Sanju Samson during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Titans in Jaipur, India on Friday, May 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Surjeet Yadav)
Little enjoyed his first spell in the Indian Premier League after representing the Gujarat Titans

Holdsworth added that Ireland did not believe Little would be ready for the rigors of Test match bowling, having mainly played T20 cricket in recent months.

He added: “Bowling four overs is not good enough to prepare any cricketer to play Test cricket, where he could bowl more than 20 overs a day in two innings.

“We didn’t physically think he was going to be ready for this without any preparation.”

Regarding the abundance of domestic tournaments now available to players like Little, Holdsworth said: “It’s a whole new world for us and the players, it’s absolutely going to challenge everyone.

“All of our players who have played franchise cricket have learned a lot about how to balance that and be the best they can be for Ireland, but it’s a challenge.”

Watch Ireland’s four-day test against England, at Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Thursday June 1.

Sky Sports

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