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Hamish Marshall, the former New Zealand batsman, is aiming to resume his international career with Ireland when he qualifies in April 2011 through holding an Irish passport.

Marshall, 31, played the last of 66 ODIs against Ireland at the 2007 World Cup and subsequently turned down a New Zealand contract so that he could continue his county career with Gloucestershire as a non-overseas and also joined the ICL. As well as adding to his international caps, Marshall is also eyeing a coaching role in Irish cricket, which is currently laying out a bid to be a Full Member of ICC.

"I certainly love playing county cricket with Gloucestershire, and plan to do so for some time yet," he said. "However I miss international cricket, and being an Irish passport holder, there's hopefully an opportunity to combine both with Ireland. There's the added attraction of getting involved on the coaching side of things which is important as I look to my future."

Marshall's switch to Ireland would need ICC approval and wouldn't come in time for next year's World Cup, but coach Phil Simmons believes it could benefit the game at many levels.

"It would be a great boost for Irish cricket to have a player of the calibre of Hamish Marshall available," Simmons said. "We would intend to make use of his talent not just on the field, but within all our coaching structures. It's our plan to have Hamish involved with our youth, women's and elite squads, and that can only be good for Irish cricket."

Ireland are currently exploring ways of strengthening their squad which has lost the services of Eoin Morgan to England, following the path of Ed Joyce. However, Joyce recently revealed he was considering resuming his Ireland career having been overlooked by England since the 2007 World Cup.

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