Simmons issues Ireland challenge
August 17, 2012 12:58:06 UK
Ireland coach Phil Simmons has challenged his team to cover the absence of all-rounder John Mooney at next month's World Twenty20.
Mooney, 30, has been ruled out of the tournament with a fractured finger, incurred in taking a slip catch during a match for his club North County.
The Dublin-born player hit the winning runs to down England in the 2011 World Cup and has been a mainstay of the Irish set-up for six years.
"It's a case of disappointment both for the team and for him," admitted Simmons.
"He's had two finger injuries and this latest one won't heal in time for the start of the tournament. It's a shame because he's been a major part of the team for the last three or four years, and disappointing for us that we have to go without him.
"But everybody has an opportunity to stake their claim and push for his place and that's good because there are people who can come in and fill the spot.
"Guys have to come out there and do the job that he would have done."
Ireland have named uncapped 21-year-old Stuart Thompson in their squad along with Tim Murtagh, who is yet to feature for them in a major tournament, and Max Sorensen.
William Porterfield's team are arguably in the toughest group in the tournament, alongside Australia and an impressive West Indies team.
Their opening match is against the Australians in Colombo on September 19 - two of the three go through to the latter stages.
Australia are 4.50 to win the 2013 Ashes series, while England are 1.44 to secure the series victory.
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