Vishal Mehra ∙ Jan 20 2023, 5:06 AM

Andy Balbirnie ruled out of ZIM ODIs, Paul Stirling to lead Ireland

image-ld425lcpAndrew Balbirnie in action [Source: Twitter]

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie's participation in the ongoing ODI series against Zimbabwe has been withdrawn by Cricket Ireland after the player got hit on the helmet in the first match.

Opener Paul Stirling has been appointed stand-in skipper for the remainder of the series.

Cricket Ireland, in its statement, confirmed that the decision not to play Balbirnie was only a precaution. 

Here's what the statement read

"Andrew Balbirnie sustained a suspected mild concussive episode after being struck on the helmet while batting in yesterday's match against Zimbabwe. He retired hurt and did not take the field in the second innings in line with concussion protocols. He was reassessed this morning, but the decision has been made to withdraw him from the remaining two matches of this series as a precaution."

Murray Commins has earned his maiden Ireland call-up, replacing Balbirnie. The 32-year-old retired hurt after scoring a stunning hundred in the first game. 

Zimbabwe went on to win the encounter by three wickets via the DLS method chasing 289 to win, thanks to a 41-ball 59 from Ryan Burl.

The second and third ODIs will be played in Harare on January 21 and 23, respectively. 

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