Cricket Ireland today (July 6) confirmed that a three-match men’s One Day International (ODI) series against England will be held between 30 July and 4 August 2020 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The matches represent Ireland’s first fixtures as part of the new World Cup Super League – the qualification process for the 2023 ICC World Cup.
Ireland Men’s cricket team last played internationally when it beat Afghanistan in a dramatic T20I Super Over finish on 10 March. The fixtures against England were originally planned for September, however, at the request of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Ireland agreed to bring the games forward.
To comply with public health directives in England and satisfy requirements of public health authorities in the Republic and Northern Ireland, 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.
The Irish players, support staff and Irish Cricketers Association received a briefing from the ECB last week on the bio-secure protocols, and all players and coaches have subsequently confirmed that they will make themselves available, if selected.
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie said, “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.”