IRISH CRICKET has been handed a massive boost with the news that both Australia and England have agreed to play one-day internationals here as part of their 2015 itineraries.
The exact date of the England clash has still to be confirmed, but Australia will meet Ireland on Thursday August 27 following the conclusion of the 5th Ashes Test at The Oval.
2015 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever for Irish fans, starting with their third ICC Cricket World Cup, which begins in Australia and New Zealand in February and March.
In addition to the home fixtures against England and Australia, Ireland are co-hosting the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers with Scotland, a competition which will see 14 countries battling it out for six qualification slots. The event runs from July 9 until August 2 for the right to reach the finals in India in 2016.
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom was clearly delighted at securing further high profile fixtures: “We are thrilled to welcome both England and Australia to Ireland once again,” he said.
“Although opportunities to find space in the Future Tours Programme are rare against the world’s leading teams, it is apparent that Cricket Australia and the ECB are committed to ensuring that the top Associates, like Scotland and Ireland, have a chance to test themselves against the best and to help us to improve.
“Off the field, the visit of such teams gives a massive boost to the profile of the sport, gives a terrific injection to the local economy and provides a wonderful day out for our fans.
“2015 promises to be a landmark year for Irish cricket with the World Cup, home ODI’s against two of the world’s top teams, and co-hosting the World Twenty20 Qualifiers. All these events represent a wonderful business opportunity for a potential sponsor as our highly successful seven year association with RSA draws to an end. These high profile events will deliver a terrific return on investment to sponsorship partners.”