In order to give their players more experience of playing against test playing nations, Cricket Ireland has decided to host a tri-series involving New Zealand and Bangladesh in May 2017. Usually, Ireland get the chance to play against top nations only during ICC events.
The six-match series will serve as a warm-up for the two touring sides ahead of next summer’s ICC Champions Trophy in England.
Earlier this week, International Cricket Council(ICC) announced it had given both Ireland and Afghanistan more than £340,000 to help the two countries arrange more matches as they attempt to improve their world ranking and secure places at the 2019 World Cup.
“Gone are the days – we hope – of being starved of the matches we deserve,” said Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland’s chief executive on Wednesday (April 27).
“Rather than getting 9 or 10 ODIs in the four years between World Cups, we aim to play at least that number annually. For years now, we have been asking for more matches to test our players, to raise the profile of our sport, to bring in new fans, and to attract more investment – but we’ve always struggled.
“Now the ICC’s new-look ODI table has changed that, and we have the chance to become the team that John Bracewell wishes to shape – one that stays together and tours, rather than prepares purely for one-off games or major events.”
The fixture against New Zealand will see Ireland coach John Bracewell come up against the country he represented in 41 Tests and was in charge for 5 years between 2003 and 2008.
He said: “It should be a fantastic series and one which both myself and the squad will look forward to. We are now getting the volume of cricket that the team needs to take their cricket to the next level. We’re also getting series against the Full Members rather than one-off games which is great.
“We have ODI’s scheduled against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand over the next year at least. Those series will give us an excellent idea of where we at in terms of progression.
“With home advantage in at least 15 ODI’s in that period we’ll certainly have plenty of opportunities to test ourselves against quality opposition.”