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ICC World Cup: Porterfield, O'Brien brothers carry Ireland's hopes

Dublin: Experienced campaigners William Porterfield and brothers Kevin and Niall O'Brien were Monday named at the core of Ireland's squad for the World Cup.

Kevin O'Brien
Kevin O'Brien 

The trio, along with Ed Joyce and John Mooney, will be playing at their third World Cup while the 15-man squad also includes six tournament debutants -- Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Andrew McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Stuart Thompson, and Craig Young.

"It's fantastic to be leading Ireland in another global tournament," said captain Porterfield, one of a number of players in the squad who earns his living in the English county championship.

"We've produced some wonderful performances over the years in World Cups, and there's no reason why we can't claim further successes in Australia and New Zealand. "While we may have lost the surprise factor over the years, we've certainly gained a lot of respect for our brand of cricket which has been pretty pleasing.

The Warwickshire batsman told the Irish Post: "There's a great mix as always in the squad, and the younger guys coming through are all hungry which keeps the more experienced players on their toes. Competition for places has been fierce and that's got to be good for Irish cricket."

Ireland kick off the campaign on February 16 against West Indies in Nelson before going on to face South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates in their Pool B campaign. Kevin O'Brien made history at the 2011 event in India when he hit the fastest-ever World Cup century against England in a stunning win in Bangalore.

Ireland, coached by former West Indies star Phil Simmons, are due to play four one-day internationals in the United Arab Emirates against fellow-qualifiers Afghanistan and Scotland, before flying out to Australia at the end of January. The World Cup is being played in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29.

Squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

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