Ireland news March 4, 2013

Ireland to play Scotland in Stormont

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland will play their potentially crucial ICC World Cricket League matches against Scotland in September at the Civil Service ground in Stormont, Belfast. Ireland's four-day match against Australia A will also be held in Stormont, while two ODIs against Pakistan will be played in Clontarf and Malahide will host England for another one-dayer in September.

The fifth round of the WCL Championship will take place this month, with table-topping Ireland in action against UAE and Scotland, who sit just two points behind in second, playing Afghanistan. The top two teams earn automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup, so the matches between Ireland and Scotland in the final round could assume great significance.

Another new Irish venue could also be inaugurated during the summer, with plans to host a repeat of last year's visit of Bangladesh at Bready Cricket Club in Northern Ireland.

"It's another incredibly important year for Irish cricket as we attempt to make it to the World Cup finals and also defend our ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers trophy in November," the Ireland coach, Phil Simmons, said. "We've been to the final stages of five world tournaments and we want to make it seven. It's fantastic that we've got the high profile matches on home soil against Pakistan and England, and we hope to get another series against Bangladesh in August as well."

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  • Nahid on March 6, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Ireland should be awarded permanent ODI status just as Bangladesh and Kenya were awarded in 1997. They have made great strides as nation to compete on a regular basis with bottom four test nations, WI, NZ, Zim and BGD. Zim and BGD should help Ireland with a 3 ODI series each year and also A teams for four day matches. That will enable Ireland to build their team and also help Zim and BGD to have a stronger stable of A team players that can be called to play for the national team. It will be a win-win situation. It is just a matter of working out logistics between the three nations.

    Afganistan will be next team after Ireland. The Asian nations can do a lot to help their Afghan brothers possibly by beginning to invite the Afghans in the be-ennial Asia cup.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    So I have been on here before moaning that Ireland are not getting the opportunity to play big teams in ODI's - well they are now - well done to the ICC and the touring teams - Pakistan/Australia and England - thanks for putting effort into Irish cricket - look forward to our old friends Bangladesh coming over too (they have been wonderfully supportive in the last few years and we appreciate it). With a new stadium in Malahide, a new first class system being launched and by far the most international games ever in a season - this is a really exciting year for Irish cricket.

    The rest is up to us on the field!

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Nice suggestions SK5983, Lord Woolf would be proud. Unfortunately the ICC are as likely to add 2 test countries as the BCCI are to cancel the IPL on the grounds that it is damaging test cricket.

  • Sachin on March 4, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Ireland and Afghanistan should be awarded test test right now and plan should be made in such a way that they can play only less strong test nations like Zim, Ban, WI, SL and NZ in first 5 years. So every year they should try to play 4 test series 2 at home and 2 away. The test Series comprising Zim or Ban or with each other should have 3 tests, while test series with WI, NZ and SL should be 2 tests each. In this way they will get 10 tests matches every year and after 5 years of time they would be more expereinced with having played 50 test matches and will try to do good vs Strong teams.

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