ANDY McBrine has described being named in the Ireland squad ahead of their first ever Test match against England at Lord’s as ‘a dream come true’.
The Donemana man is ‘delighted’ to have been included in the 14-man panel for what will be historic maiden Test outing at the London venue for the men in green, but not just for himself, but for his North West Warriors team-mates, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young, who have also been selected.
“I was delighted to see my name in the Test squad, it’s a dream come true,” beamed the 26 year-old off-spinner.
“I’ve been to Lord’s a few times, but I’ve always been the 12th or 13th man but I’m going in with a really good chance to play this time.
“Obviously I’m really pleased for myself and everyone around me.
“Me, Stuart and Craig spend a lot of time together training in the gym and whatnot, so I’m not only delighted for myself, but for two of my very good mates.”
Even if all five of the North West men don’t play during the four-day Test at Lord’s, McBrine believes that the fact they have been named in the squad shows that the hard work behind the scenes within the Union is paying off.
And that was proved last week as Ireland, with Porterfield, Rankin and McBrine all involved, swept aside Zimbabwe 3-0 during an ODI series, which included a game at Bready.
However, the Tyrone man knows the challenge at Lord’s will be different to what was experienced last week.
“It was a good win and a good series, so we can go into the Test match full of confidence and with good high spirits,” he said.
“Most of the lads will have played against the England players, but it will be a wee bit different for the likes of myself, the local players, who haven’t played as much county cricket and stuff like that.
“But we have a couple of weeks to prep for it and we’ll put in a lot of hard work towards it.
“It will be the biggest game of my career, but we have lads like Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh, who play a lot at Lord’s.
They will have a lot of experience and can help us all out because just playing there will be an experience in itself,” he concluded.
Ireland’s clash with England at Lord’s between July 24-27 will be only their third ever Test match after losing to both Pakistan and Afghanistan in their previous fixtures since earning full member status. Prior to the game in London, they will take on Middlesex 2nd XI at Merchant Taylor’s School on July 18-19.
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