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Stirling handed Twenty20 chance

Ireland have unveiled a 15-man squad for announced for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 competition.

The squad is virtually the same as that which won the recent World Cup Qualifying Trophy in South Africa, with the only changes being the inclusion of Jeremy Bray and Paul Stirling in place of Andrew Poynter and Eoin Morgan.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons has again opted for experience, a policy which served him so well in the triumph last month, with the one notable exception being 18-year-old Stirling.

'Paul has been in such good form in the Friends Provident Trophy, with two exceptional knocks,' admitted Simmons.

'It's not just been the fact that he's scored runs, but the manner in which he has played. He's been confident, powerful and dominant.

'It's hard to believe that innings of such maturity come from one so young. He looks the part and has a great attitude to the game which will stand him in good stead in years to come.'

Simmons also revealed that Andre Botha will undergo a fitness test as he continues to recover from a damaged ankle.

'Andre will undergo rigorous testing on his ankle in 2-3 weeks time, and we'll make a final decision then,' Simmons added.

'He definitely won't bowl in the tournament, but I'd be very confident he can play a major role with the bat.

'We have struggled a bit with the ball in the current Friends Provident campaign, but we'll have a lot of experience coming back in Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack, as well as big Boyd (Rankin).'

For Belfast High School student Stirling, the call-up was a dream come true.

'It's unbelievable really,' said Sterling.

'This is my last official day of school, as I start sitting my A levels next week.

'I'm looking forward to playing against some of the world's greatest players, and am relishing taking on the defending world champions India.'

Ireland have been drawn in Group A and will face Bangladesh on 8 June, and India on 10 June, with both fixtures taking place at Trent Bridge.

Ireland squad:

William Porterfield (Captain) (Gloucestershire)
Andre Botha (North County)
Jeremy Bray (The Hills)
Peter Connell (North Down)
Alex Cusack (Clontarf)
Trent Johnston (Railway Union)
Kyle McCallan (Waringstown)
John Mooney (North County)
Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union)
Niall O'Brien (Northants) (w/k)
Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire)
Paul Stirling (Carrickfergus)
Regan West (Civil Service North)
Andrew White (Instonians)
Gary Wilson (Surrey)

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