Cricket Ireland confirm T20I series against Bangladesh
Ireland will begin their preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 with a three game series against Bangladesh, who are embarking on a nine day tour of Ireland from July 13-22.
The games will be played at Stormont in Belfast on July 18, 20 and 21, with a warm-up fixture against an Ireland XI taking place on Monday the 16th of July.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons welcomed the fixtures saying:"It's great news that we're taking on Bangladesh and the games will give us valuable preparation as we build towards the World Cup in Sri Lanka. We played an exciting brand of cricket in winning the recent qualifying tournament in Dubai and we're now 8th in the world rankings in this format of the game. In Paul Stirling we have one of the most exciting players in international cricket at present and I'm sure the Belfast public will relish the opportunity to watch him on home soil."
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: "We are delighted to be able to bring more top quality cricket to Ireland. Hosting matches against the Full Member countries is exactly what we are striving for and this summer proves we are on the right track with matches against Australia, South Africa A, Afghanistan and now Bangladesh.
"I would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the ICC High Performance Programme and to ICC Europe for their financial support in helping make these matches come to fruition.
"In addition, this is the first time ever we are playing T20I matches at home against a Test nation, and we fully intend to play the games at a time and a price to suit the post-work and weekend crowd," said Deutrom.
Shakib Al Hasan, the world's number one ranked Test and ODI all-rounder is relishing the opportunity to face Ireland saying: "We are always looking for tough challenges as professional cricketers and I am sure the tour of Ireland would test our skills and resolve. This will be wonderful preparations for both teams heading into the ICC World T20.
"Ireland are a very competitive side and in their conditions they will be formidable. However, we have a team that is brimming with confidence. We have proven match winners and some fresh faces who are tailor-made for the demands of T20 cricket. This promises to be an exciting contest.
"I love coming to Ireland. It's a beautiful place with a growing cricket following. This tour should be another stepping stone for popularising the game there and I am very happy to be playing a part in it," said Al Hasan.
The sides have met just once in this format of the game, during the group stages of the ICC World Twenty20 at Trent Bridge in 2009, a game which Ireland won by six wickets.
The fixtures are as follows:
Ireland v Bangladesh, T20I, Stormont, Wed July 18 at 5pm
Ireland v Bangladesh, T20I, Stormont, Fri July 20 at 5pm
Ireland v Bangladesh, T20I, Stormont, Sat July 21 at 4pm.