Paul Stirling will not be playing in Ireland’s next two Test matches as the Ireland selectors have identified the World Cup Super League games against Bangladesh in May as the priority in the upcoming months.

Cricket Ireland have today released the squads for the back to back tours to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in March and April and Stirling has been told to focus on the white ball games and will lead Ireland into the two one-day internationals in Colombo while captain Andrew Balbirnie is rested ahead of the Bangladesh games which follow just two weeks later.

Stirling’s replacement in the Test squad is Waringstown’s James McCollum who is still contracted by Cricket Ireland and opened the batting in Ireland’s last Test match, at Lord’s in 2019; his average after two Tests is 18, the same as Stirling.

In all 22 players will be involved in the two tours – only six have been named in all five squads across all three formats but one of them is 20 year-old Instonians’ slow left armer Matthew Humphreys.

The ‘go-to’ bowler in Ireland’s Under-19 World Cup campaign last year, Ireland are keen to identify a specialist slow left arm spinner to succeed George Dockrell who has been told to concentrate on his batting.

Humphreys is one of three uncapped players selected, the others are Civil Service North opening bowler Matthew Foster, who will go to Sri Lanka and PJ Moor who has declared for Ireland after playing eight Test matches for Zimbabwe, the last an innings of 83 against Bangladesh in Dhaka – the venue for the April Test match – back in 2018.

There is also a welcome return from injury of pace bowlers Craig Young and Conor Olphert who will ease their way back by concentrating on the white ball matches from the T20s in Bangladesh onwards and give the selectors a full complement of pace bowlers from which to choose for the World Cup Super League matches which could yet propel Ireland straight through to the World Cup finals in India in October.

Young, Olphert and Foster will play the Sri Lanka Odis while Mark Adair – who will also sit out the Sri Lanka Test match – Barry McCarthy and Josh Little miss out.

Little is involved in only the first three games of the tours – the ODIs in Bangladesh – before he becomes Ireland’s first current player to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League.