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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 14:44 UK

Bray returns for Ireland matches

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray returns after his break from international cricket

Jeremy Bray is back in the Irish squad after a two-year absence for the Friends Provident Trophy games against Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

The 35-year-old opener earns a recall with Fintan McAllister dropping out after Sunday's defeat by Worcester.

"I feel in great touch and it's fantastic to get another crack at international cricket," said Bray.

Ireland face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Sunday and Leicestershire at Grace Road the following day.

Bray has played 72 times for Ireland, scoring 2509 runs at an average of 33.45.

With captain William Porterfield again unavailable because of his Gloucestershire commitments, opener Bray is recalled to the squad.

Bray added: "I'm delighted to be involved again. I said some harsh things about Irish cricket two years ago, which I've come to regret deeply.

"I was exhausted after all the exploits of the World Cup, and felt we weren't changing quickly enough.

"I've been proved wrong, and Irish cricket is now in a stronger position than ever before.

He scores boundaries and is a powerful striker of the ball.

Phil Simmons

"I made myself available and am grateful to Phil Simmons (Irish coach) for giving me another opportunity.

"I've had three months rest from cricket for the first time in over four years, and I feel refreshed, fit and raring to go.

"I feel I've got a good few years left in me, and reckon I can give a good deal of assistance to the talented youngsters in the set up."

Simmons is happy to have the experienced Bray back in the squad.

"He's a proven performer at international level, and with us losing so many top order batsmen, I felt he would improve our squad," he said.

"He knows my philosophy about the importance of the team ethic to Ireland rather than the individual, which I stressed.

"We also have the Twenty20 World Cup coming up, and to me he's ideally suited to that form of the game.

"He scores boundaries and is a powerful striker of the ball.

"He's very fit and is focused on the game now - I don't think he had that appetite and focus when he took a break from the game.

"He's keen and eager, and I think he'll be a big success again - we all know he can really play."

Ireland squad: K McCallan, J Bray, P Connell, P Eaglestone, J Hall, J Mooney, K O'Brien, A Poynter, P Stirling, R Strydom, R West, A White, G Wilson.

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see also
Worcs defy rain to win in Belfast
26 Apr 09 |  Counties
Simmons extends Ireland contract
25 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Ireland trounce Canada in decider
19 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Simmons named as new Irish coach
25 Feb 07 |  Cricket

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