Stormont to host Australia A and Scotland clashes

Mon, Mar 4, 2013 1:23 PM

Ireland have chosen the stronghold of Stormont in Belfast to host this season's potentially two most important homes games - the final round of World Cup qualifiers against Scotland on September 6 and 8.

After four of the seven rounds of ICC World Cricket League matches, Scotland lie in second place behind Ireland on the table with the two top sides qualifying automatically for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland and Scotland play their fifth round of qualifying matches this month, with Scotland taking on Afghanistan and Ireland playing the UAE in Sharjah. Ireland's other fixtures in the WCL take place in early July when the team travel to The Netherlands.

In a busy season of international and domestic fixtures, Stormont will also play host to the touring Australian A side who will be playing a four-day game from June 14-17 to give their players practice in European conditions ahead of the Ashes campaign.

Ireland's other games against Test-playing nations will see William Porterfield's men facing Pakistan in the RSA Insurance ODI series at Clontarf in May, while the blue riband game of the year features England at the new ODI venue in Malahide on September 3.

Cricket Ireland is also engaging with ICC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board regarding repeating last year's Bangladesh visit to Ireland, Scotland and The Netherlands, which CI has earmarked for the new home of major cricket in the North-West, at Bready CC.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "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.

"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.

"There's also an extensive programme of Inter-Provincial cricket - all these fixtures will give myself and the selectors a good indication of the talent coming through below senior international level. It's a great shop window for the players, and I'm sure it will prove a great success in strengthening Irish cricket."

The re-launched Inter-Provincial Series sees 27 days of action across Ireland, as the Northern Knights, Leinster Lightning and North West Warriors do battle in three different formats of the game. The action kicks off in Leinster on April 28, with the sides facing each other in the Twenty20 competition.

The 50-over tournament gets under way at The Hills on May 6th with Leinster taking on the NW, while the same teams also kick off the three-day competition at College Park on May 14th.

At youth level, Ireland Under 19s face a crucial World Cup qualifying campaign in The Netherlands, while the U17s will start the defence of their title in the ICC Europe Challenge Series against traditional rivals The Netherlands and Scotland. The Under 15s are also in European action when they play in England in the ICC European Division One Championship.

Malahide has been chosen as the venue for the RSA Irish Senior Cup on August 24th, while Bready will host the RSA National Cup decider the following day.

It's also a busy summer for Ireland's women cricketers as Dublin plays host to the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in late July, with eight countries including Pakistan and Sri Lanka battling it out to secure the final qualification slot.

Ireland will also be competing in the Second Division of the ECB County Championship having secured promotion last year.

Ireland captain Isobel Joyce said: "The squad have been training hard since Christmas to prepare for the qualifiers. We know it won't be easy - with only one place available - but hopefully home advantage will give us an edge in the key games."

The fixtures in full are as follows:

Ireland Senior Men
March 8-9 Ireland v Canada (2 day warm-up) GCA, Dubai
March 12-15 Ireland v UAE, InterContinental Cup, Sharjah
March 18 Ireland v UAE, WCL, Sharjah
March 20 Ireland v UAE, WCL, Sharjah
March 21 Ireland v UAE, T20, Sharjah
May 23 Ireland v Pakistan, Clontarf
May 26 Ireland v Pakistan, Clontarf
June 14-17, Ireland v Australia A, 4 day, Stormont
July 1-4 Ireland v Netherlands, Intercontinental Cup, Netherlands
July 7 Ireland v Netherlands, WCL, Netherlands
July 9 Ireland v Netherlands, WCL, Netherlands
September 3 Ireland v England, RSA Challenge ODI, Malahide
September 6 Ireland v Scotland, WCL, Stormont
September 8 Ireland v Scotland, WCL, Stormont
September 11-14 Ireland v Scotland, InterContinental Cup, LCU
November tbc ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers, UAE
December tbc ICC InterContinental Cup final, UAE

Inter-Provincial Series
April 28 LCU, NCU, NW, Twenty20, LCU
May 6 LCU v NW, 50 over, The Hills
May 14-16 LCU v NW, 3 day, College Park
May 19 NW v NCU, 50 over, Coleraine
June 1 LCU v NW, Malahide
June 4-6 NW v NCU, 3 day, Eglinton
June 25-27 LCU v NCU, College Park
July 15 NCU v NW, 50 over, North Down
July 21 NW, NCU, LCU, Twenty20, Bready
July 30-August 1 NCU v NW, 50 over, NCU
August 10, NCU v LCU, 50 over, NCU
August 13-15 NW v LCU, Bready
August 27-29 NCU v LCU, NCU
September 21 NW v LCU, 50 over, Strabane
September 22, NCU, NW, LCU, Twenty20, North Down

Ireland Under 19
April 21 Ireland U19 v Ireland A, venue tbc
August 2-8 ICC European U19 World Cup Qualifiers, Netherlands

Ireland Under 17
July 16-18 Ireland U17 v Netherlands U17, Challenge Series, Mardyke
July 23-25 Ireland U17 v Scotland U17, Challenge Series, Ayr

Ireland Under 15
May 19 Inter-squad friendly, Muckamore
August 13-18 ICC European U15 Division 1, Rugby, England.

Ireland Under 13
July 21-23 Camp in Bready

RSA Irish Senior Cup and RSA National Cup
May 11 1st round
June 8 2nd round
July 7 3rd round
August 3 Semi-finals
August 24 Irish Senior Cup final, Malahide
August 25 National Cup final, Bready

Ireland Senior Women
May 5 Ireland v Devon, ECB County Championships, Torquay CC
May 6 Ireland v Wales, ECB County Championships, Ynystawe CC
May 19 Ireland v Somerset, ECB County Championships, Brislington CC
May 26 Ireland v Cheshire, ECB County Championships, Hawk Green CC
May 27 Ireland v Durham, ECB County Championships, Brandon CC
June 23 Ireland v Worcestershire, ECB County Championships, UK
July 8 Ireland v Pakistan 2 T20I's, UK
July 10 Ireland v Pakistan, ODI, UK
July 14 Ireland v Stafforshire, ECB County Championships, Stone CC
July 15 Ireland v Lancashire, ECB County Championships, Urmston CC
July 23-August 1 ICC WorldTwenty20 Qualifiers, Dublin
September 1 Top 2 play-off, ECB County Championships, UK
September 15 Winner play-off v bottom Div 1, ECB County Championships, UK

Ireland Under 17 girls
August 12 Ireland U17 v Scotland U17, 40 overs, Dublin
August 13 Ireland U17 v Scotland U17, 2 T20's, Dublin
August 14 Ireland U17 v Scotland, T20, Dublin

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