What’s the story?
The 17-year-old left-arm bowler, Josh Little withdrew from the upcoming T20 international series against Afghanistan in India owing to his school commitments. The teenager has been replaced by Peter Chase who is yet to represent Ireland in the T20Is.
“There were concerns about the time missed in what is a crucial period for Josh’s education,” said Ireland coach John Bracewell. “Peter gives us cover in the bowling department and we’ll also have Niall O’Brian and Ed Joyce on stand-by for the T20 series as they’ll be in India preparing for the ODI and Intercontinental Cup games which follow,” concluded the coach.
In case you didn’t know...
Josh Little made his Twenty20 International debut against Hong Kong on 5th September 2016. Josh was 16 and he became the second youngest to debut at that level. In his last T20I against Namibia on 17th January 2017, he picked up two wickets with an average of 5.66 in his three overs.
The heart of the matter
Little had placed his education at the back of his mind for an Under-19 tournament in Bangladesh last year along with two T20Is against Afghanistan and Namibia in the recently concluded Desert T20.
But the recent developments reveal that Josh has pulled out of Ireland’s squad for the T20I series against the Afghan team with concerns regarding his schooling. The youngster is replaced by a fellow pacer, Peter Chase. The 23-year-old Chase has played eight International matches for the Irish till date.
Peter Chase had an impressive ODI series against Afghanistan last summer in which he picked up seven wickets. He gives a backup to the bowling department along with Niall O’Brien and Ed Joyce for the T20 series.
Furthermore, the former Leicestershire coach Ben Smith has been appointed as the consultant assistant coach for Ireland in UAE and India. Bracewell praised Smith for his impeccable credentials and believes that he will bring valuable experience and knowledge to the Irish camp.
Little had an interruption in education once before for the U19 series in Bangladesh and would not want the same to repeat. The teenager prioritises education over the sport as he feels it is the correct decision. Hopefully, we will see more of him in the coming years.