Ireland will take on England in two ODIs next year in what is not only a great move for Irish Cricket but hopefully for associate nations in general. Ireland, recently granted First Class, List A and T20 status at domestic level are seeking further exposure against Test playing opposition and as well as two matches against the Three Lions will also host a Tri-Series involving Bangladesh and New Zealand shortly after. Ireland have taken advantage of Bangladesh and New Zealand’s need to adapt to northern hemisphere conditions ahead of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
The ODIs with England will take place at Bristol and Lords. This will save Ireland set-up costs but one match in Dublin followed by one at Lords could have been an innovative approach. If Ireland do gain Test status in the near future a bi-nation series with their neighbours, playing their first ever Test match in Dublin followed up by a match at Lords could be very special. It’s the sort of move that other nations could taken advantage of, for example Australia and Papua New Guinea playing series across both Northern Australia and PNG or India taking on Nepal across both nations. This development of both neighbourly support and rivalry could really help the game develop away from the well trodden path.
Ireland will wrap up the summer by hosting an ODI against West Indies in September.
Ireland Cricket’s Summer 2017 fixtures:
ODI Tour of England
England v Ireland, County Ground, Bristol, May 5th
England v Ireland, Lords, London, May 7th
Ireland v Bangladesh, Venue TBC, May 12th
Ireland v New Zealand, Venue TBC, May 14th
Ireland v Bangladesh, Venue TBC, May 19th
Ireland v New Zealand, Venue TBC, May 21st
ODI v West Indies
Ireland v West Indies, Venue TBC, Sept 13th
As mentioned, having been granted First Class status at domestic level and seeing a significant increase in ODI activity against Test level opposition, Ireland really do seem to be being groomed for a promotion to Test status.