Cricket Ireland on Friday confirmed that pace bowler Louise McCarthy has been added to the Ireland women's senior performance squad after an absence of three years.
The 26-year old has 74 caps for Ireland after making her debut in 2010, however, took a break from international cricket to complete studies for a Masters of Diagnostic Radiography in Edinburgh.
Carrie Archer, Chair of Ireland women's national selectors, said: "The squad Louise left in 2017 and the one she joins now are vastly different, so we are delighted that Louise's experience can be added to this young side. She had 74 caps over seven years before her break for study, so her re-inclusion, once she became available again, was a straightforward decision for the selectors."
McCarthy said: "Returning to the Irish squad wasn't something I had completely written off, but my studies had become the priority. Then I was lucky enough to play for Durham last season in their 50-over and 20-over competitions, and that experience reinstated my fire for cricket. Playing with top quality players and against tough opponents week-on-week was something I realised I missed."
"It's a huge honour to be back in the squad. Most of the squad I would have been familiar with through playing Super 3's over the years - there are still a few 'old' girls on the scene that played when I did. So it doesn't feel a whole lot different - but I now feel old, if anything!"
Asked about her last three months working in the health service, she said: "I'm a radiographer in Dublin, so work didn't stop for us during the pandemic! It was a weird and stressful place at the best of times, but it's a job I really enjoy so I suppose, I signed up for it."
Ed Joyce, head coach of the team, said: "Louise's addition to the senior squad is a boost for us all ahead of what will be an important period for this side. Her influence and enthusiasm has been felt by her teammates already, and she returns to the set-up understanding the challenge ahead."
The Ireland eves were due to compete at the postponed World Cup Qualifier in July in Sri Lanka, however, the ICC will provide an update on the tournament's status in due course.