By Rory Dollard, PA Sport
Josh Little is making his way from Jaipur to Chelmsford after departing the Indian Premier League to boost Ireland’s hopes of World Cup qualification.
The 23-year-old left-armer has become a hot property in white-ball cricket, performing strongly in his maiden IPL campaign with Gujarat Titans after picking up a contract worth around £400,000.
He missed Ireland’s last three Test matches to take part in the tournament but is putting his country first as they take on Bangladesh in three ODIs to be hosted by Essex next week.
Ireland need to claim a whitewash to automatically book their place at the World Cup in India later this year, and will need to head for the qualifier in Zimbabwe if they fail to do so.
Little’s presence in the attack raises their chances, but they will still need to be at the top of their game and hope the weather in Essex allows the series to go ahead in full.
Former England international Vikram Solanki, director of cricket at Gujarat, said: “We wish Josh the best as he heads back to represent Ireland in the ODIs. He has had a good run in his first Indian Premier League and we look forward to welcoming him back once he finishes the ODI series.”
Ireland are back in Test action when they face England at Lord’s next month.