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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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England call-up for Ireland

TEENAGER Andrew Ireland has set his sights on following Cumbrian cricket stars Paul Nixon and Ben Stokes into the first-class game.

Ireland underlined his potential by being selected for England Under-19s, although frustratingly a knee injury forced him to pull out of their current Test tour of South Africa.

But the 17-year-old all-rounder, from Distington, who is on the books of Durham Academy, received some consolation by being asked to join up with England Under-17s for a trip to South Africa next month.

Ireland will have the chance to undergo rehabilitation on the tendonitis in his knee, as well as join in training, when the under-17s fly out to South Africa on February 10.

Joining Durham and playing at next year’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup is his long-term ambition when he leaves Workington sixth form centre.

He said: “It was disappointing to miss out with England Under-19s but this time next year they will be going to Dubai to play Pakistan so I hope I will be included.

“Then there is the Under-19 World Cup. I would like to be a first-class cricketer and being selected for England Under-19s is a step towards that.”

Ireland has been travelling to Chester-le-Street over the winter to train at Durham Academy, and he hopes to join them full-time in the summer.

He also aims to be included in the England Under-19 side to face Pakistan and Bangladesh in a triangular series on home soil this summer.

Ireland said: “England will push my claims with a first-class county. Because I got into the England set-up I have stepped up training with Durham and had a lot more one-to-one sessions over the winter.”

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