DUBAI // Ireland's new schoolboy spinner, George Dockrell, will have his work cut out to concentrate on his revision ahead of his summer exams, after bowling his side back on to the game's biggest stage. The left-armer, 17, will be sitting his leaving certificates at school in Dublin in June. A month before that he is likely to be lining up against the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Shahid Afridi and Kevin Pietersen.
After Ireland lost their two first choice spinners - Kyle McCallan to retirement and Regan West to a long-term shoulder injury - they raided their under 19 side for a replacement. Dockrell's astonishing rise culminated in him taking four wickets to bring about a 65-run victory over the Netherlands last night, which sealed their place at the World Twenty20 in the West Indies. "I've brought a few books with me and have been doing a bit of studying while I've been out here," he said. "It has been a fast step-up for me. I have been moving up the teams quite quickly. I played in the Under 19 World Cup in January in New Zealand.
"It has been a big jump in standard, but I have really enjoyed it and come into well, so I have been happy with that." Defeat meant the Dutch will be denied the chance to repeat their giant-killing heroics of last summer, when they beat England at the last World Twenty20 at Lord's. "This was always going to be a very difficult tournament," said their captain, Peter Borren. "All the teams here can beat each other on the day, but we will look back and be very disappointed.
"We were poor [against Ireland]. It was disappointing for us not to turn up on what was a big occasion for us. "It is difficult to get into the top two of this tournament. It is competitive cricket. We won three matches out of five, and we had to win four." firstname.lastname@example.org