Ireland eagerly await T20 series
Sat, Jul 7, 2012 11:56 AM
Ireland are looking forward to their first home Twenty20 series against a Test-playing nation when Bangladesh visit later this month.
Bangladesh visit Stormont for three T20 Internationals on July 18, 20 and 21.
The hosts will see the series as vital preparation against top opposition ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.
Ireland Coach Phil Simmons said: "We as a country need to play more international matches in this format, although our county contracted players do in England. We've a number of players ideally suited to the short form of the game, and it should be a great spectacle for the fans who come along. There are still a few slots up for grabs and it's an ideal opportunity for the players to make a case for themselves to be included in the World T20 squad."
Ireland can draw on their only previous T20 meeting against Bangladesh for inspiration, when vice-captain Kevin O'Brien played a key role in the victory.
The all-rounder said: "I've happy memories of our World T20 win against them at Trent Bridge in 2009. I hit the winning boundary when myself and Niall (O'Brien) got runs. We're currently ninth in the world rankings and a series win would help us in our quest to get extra points to get up the ICC Rankings. We've just beaten Afghanistan and we'll be looking to keep that winning momentum going. I'm sure the Irish public will flock to what is always a great evening out. I've been experiencing the big crowds down at Taunton during the T20 season there in England and I'm hoping we can replicate some of that fun atmosphere in Belfast this month"
Play in the first two matches get underway at 5pm with the Saturday afternoon clash starting at 4pm to conclude the series.