Ireland to play England at Malahide
The countdown has started to the official opening of Ireland's biggest cricket venue, as Malahide prepares to host a one-day international against England next year.
The North Dublin ground has undergone major renovations over the past three years and now has an impressive 11,500 capacity for hosting top flight international cricket.
Ireland will play their first ODI at Malahide (subject to ICC granting ODI accreditation) on 3 September, 2013, hoping for a repeat of their famous victory over England at the 2011 World Cup.
Kevin O'Brien was the hero that day - with the World Cup's fastest century - but next year's showpiece fixture will be a special day for Eoin Morgan who played for the Malahide club as a teenager between 2000 and 2002.
Dublin-born Morgan, who played 63 times for Ireland, captained England on their last visit to Dublin – an 11-run win for the visitors at Clontarf in August last year.
England have won four of the five ODIs between the sides but the last three encounters have all been nail-biters and Ireland coach Phil Simmons is already looking forward to the next game.
"I live just around the corner from the ground so it's fantastic for the club and the area to be hosting a game of this magnitude," Simmons said.
"It's going to be a super venue for cricket, and the fact that it's England coming will give the whole day that extra edge that contests between the countries in all sports seem to inspire."
Alan Hughes, President of Malahide Cricket Club, said "Malahide are delighted to be able to stage this match and look forward to hosting the largest ever crowd at a cricket international in Ireland.