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Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:50 UK

Ricky Ponting wants an end to Ireland player exodus

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting says Ireland are suffering from a player drain

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has called on the International Cricket Council to halt the player drain from Irish cricket to England.

Ireland face Australia in a one-day international in Dublin on Thursday.

"I'm very sympathetic to countries like Ireland that could keep losing their best players. It's something that I feel shouldn't happen," said Ponting.

Meanwhile, Irish all-rounder Andre Botha will miss the game with a suspected stress fracture of his back.

"We think he picked it up in the three-day game with Sussex last week," said Ireland coach Phil Simmons.

"I haven't called anyone in, as there are some of the Ireland A and national players down with us at training, and can be here at a moment's notice."

The news is better with regard to Niall O'Brien, who Simmons confirmed would keep wicket after a finger injury.

Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce are examples of Irish players who have gone on to represent England in recent years.

They offer them some decent money and away they go.
Ricky Ponting

Fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who has 20 ODI caps with Ireland, has also been identified by England after he was selected in the ECB's enhanced England performance programme that trained in the United States over the winter.

That has led to fears inside Cricket Ireland that they will lose another of their key players and Ponting claims the progress of the fledgling nation on the international stage is being unfairly undermined.

"I think the ICC should be worried about that as far as trying to develop countries like Ireland and having some of their best young players poached, even in county cricket.

"If the ICC look at that and are serious about Ireland continuing to grow as a nation and maybe one day being a Test-playing nation then they can't afford to have their better players going off at a young age.

"The counties are jumping on 17 and 18 year old kids who have maybe had a good tournament or a few good games here or there.

"They offer them some decent money and away they go.

"You can understand that as far as the players are concerned, but I think the ICC have to step in and do their best to ensure the young Irish kids that are coming along get a chance to play for their country first and foremost."

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see also
Ponting predicts tough Irish test
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Uncapped Hazlewood in for Johnson
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Joyce wants to return for Ireland
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Joyce may return to Ireland duty
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England through after rain drama
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Porterfield rues batting collapse
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Australia in England 2010
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