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James Shannon called into Ireland squad for trip to United Arab Emirates

James Shannon: International chance for former Ireland U19 star

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Uncapped batsman James Shannon is the one surprise name in Ireland's squad for their trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Shannon is named in a 14-man squad for the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League fixtures against the UAE, who they will also face in a one-off Twenty20 fixture.

The fixtures are likely to be among Ireland's most important of the season, so coach Phil Simmons has opted for experience, 12 of the 14 players selected having played in the ICC World Twenty20.

John Mooney returns from a hand injury and Shannon's call comes at the expense of Stuart Thompson - his only previous international experience came for an Ireland XI against South Africa and Bangladesh last summer.

"It's pretty much among expected lines. These games are vital in our quest to gain one of the two automatic World Cup qualification places," Simmons said.

"When the pressure is on, I've found there's no substitute for experience. Nine of our squad have played for their country 100 times or more, and 11 of them have World Cup experience."

Ireland play Canada in a warm-up game on 8 and 9 March, before their first official appointment with the UAE on 12 March.

Squad: Porterfield (capt), Cusack, Dockrell, Johnston, Joyce, Mooney, Murtagh, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, Shannon, Sorensen, Stirling, White, Wilson.