Cricket Ireland confirm 3 ODIs...


Cricket Ireland confirm 3 ODIs with world champions England

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Cricket Ireland have confirmed the men's national team will have their first outing in nearly five months against the world champions, England.

Three one-day internationals have been confirmed for the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Ireland's last match prior to lockdown came on March 10 with a Super Over victory over Afghanistan in a T20 in international in India.

A series with England had originally been pencilled in for Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval in September but it's been brought forward as part of a revised calendar from the ECB.

The England matches will be Ireland's first steps on the road to a potential 2023 World Cup place.

All three ODIs will be played behind closed doors.

They form part of the ICC's new World Cup Super League. Seven of the thirteen competing nations (minus hosts, India) will qualify for the next World Cup.

The England ODIs will all be day/night affairs on July 30, August 1 and August 4.

Cricket Ireland say, "The three fixtures will be held within a bio-secure venue, with the squad leaving on 18 July from Dublin airport on a special charter flight.

"The team will be transferred to a hotel that is within the grounds of the Ageas Bowl and stay until their departure on 5 August. The players and support staff will be tested a week before departure, on arrival and regularly during their stay.

"This testing complements the current regime already in place since the squad resumed training three weeks ago."

England will also play a Test series against Pakistan.

The first test will be at Old Trafford (August 5-9), before two further tests at Southampton (August 13-17, August 21-25).

England will also play Pakistan in three T20 internationals - all at Old Trafford.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie is itching to play competitive cricket again, and against no less opponents than the reigning world champions, "It’s a great relief to the squad and coaching staff that the games are able to proceed, and despite the challenges over the last four months, the lads are in good shape and good spirits.

"Returning to training was a great first step in the return to cricket, and we have all enjoyed getting back into the nets to brush out the cobwebs.”

"However, playing international cricket is a huge honour - and not only do we have that to look forward to now, but we’ll be taking on the World Champions in their own backyard.

"That is the ultimate challenge – and we’ll be ready."

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