T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier 2023: Theo van Woerkom receives maiden call-up after Gareth Delany's injury

Gareth Delany sustained an injury at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

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Ireland Cricket
Ireland Cricket. (Photo Source: Cricket Ireland)

DUBLIN – An injury to Gareth Delany, sustained at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, has forced his withdrawal from the Ireland Men’s squad heading to the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier next Tuesday with Theo van Woerkom receiving his first international call-up as replacement.

A scan following his return to Dublin has revealed Delany has sustained a broken wrist during the final match against Nepal at the recent event.

New Zealand-born van Woerkom, 29, has played for New Zealand Under-19s, Black Caps ‘A’ team and for Canterbury in the New Zealand provincial set-up (debuting in 2015). He has played 31 first-class matches and 26 List A matches.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler and middle-order batter qualifies through an Irish passport with ancestry from Donegal and Limerick through his mother’s side of the family. He moved to Belfast in April and plays his club cricket with CIYMS Cricket Club. van Woerkom was selected in the Northern Knights squad for the 2023 Rario Inter-Provincial Series and has played six times across the white ball formats.

The Ireland Men’s ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier squad:

Paul Stirling (Capt), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Theo van Woerkom, Ben White, Craig Young.

Andrew White, National Men’s Selector, said:

“We are disappointed to lose Gareth with his broken wrist which he suffered in Zimbabwe. He has been an integral part of our T20 squad and we wish him well with his rehabilitation.

“In replacing Gareth for the T20 qualifiers, we have selected Theo van Woerkom, a player we have been watching closely since he agreed to sign for CIYMS during the winter. One of the key considerations was the experience he brings, having played First Class and List A cricket for Canterbury. Theo also played for New Zealand Under 19’s and their ‘A’ squad.

“While we have a number of promising young spinners who are progressing nicely through the pathway system, we do recognise that the step up from Inter-Provincial to international cricket is huge, and we want to ideally provide our young players the time to develop in the right manner and at the right pace. This, of course, includes the Ireland Wolves programme being fully restored to the level we know it needs to be at. Through the pathway programme, Wolves and working closely with the provincial coaches, we believe this investment in our young spinners will ensure they come through the system successfully.”

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