Cricket Ireland announces schedule for the upcoming games against South Africa and Zimbabwe

On Monday, Cricket Ireland unveiled the schedule for their forthcoming matches against South Africa and Zimbabwe. Ireland are set to play a one-off test match against Zimbabwe, followed by a two-match T20I series and a three-match ODI series against South Africa later this year.

Ireland will host all these matches; however, due to the country’s inadequate infrastructure, most of them will be played on foreign venues.

One-off test against Zimbabwe

In 2017, Ireland attained Full Member status and hosted their first men’s Test at Malahide, near Dublin, in 2018. However, without a permanent home stadium and due to the high costs of temporary infrastructure, their six subsequent men’s Tests were held overseas. This included their maiden victory against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

This summer, they are scheduled to host a one-off Test against Zimbabwe at the Civil Service ground in Stormont, Belfast, from July 25th to 29th.

White Ball series against South Africa

Ireland will host two T20I matches on September 27th and 29th, alongside three ODI matches against South Africa on October 2nd, 4th, and 7th. All these fixtures are scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi.

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Home games schedule of Ireland

  • July 25 to 29: One-off test Ireland vs Zimbabwe Civil Service Ground in Stormont, Belfast.
  • September 27: Ireland vs South Africa 1st T20I at Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
  • September 29: Ireland vs South Africa 2nd T20I at Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
  • October 2: Ireland vs South Africa 1st ODI at Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
  • October 4: Ireland vs South Africa 2nd ODI at Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
  • October 7: Ireland vs South Africa 3rd ODI at Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi

Financial problems of Cricket Ireland

Due to insufficient infrastructure in the country, Ireland has been compelled to relocate the venues for the majority of their home matches. Likewise, South Africa, initially scheduled to tour Ireland for three ODIs and three T20Is in July, will now contest these series in Abu Dhabi from late September. This marks South Africa’s second consecutive away series against Ireland, played on neutral ground, following Cricket Ireland’s decision to move two T20Is to Bristol in England in 2022.

In an interview conducted by ESPNcricinfo, Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of Ireland Cricket Board, stated that the board is actively seeking long-term solutions to infrastructure issues. However, until then, Ireland will have no choice but to host their home matches in foreign locations.

“This fixture schedule attempts to strike a balance of competitive, high-quality cricket across multiple formats whilst addressing the challenges we face with respect to our current infrastructure constraints,” said Deutrom.

“While we work on longer-term solutions for some of these challenges – most notably continuing to advocate to Government for the proposed permanent stadium – we know we’ll have to explore ways to creatively increase our capacity to host an ever-increasing schedule in the short term. Continually reviewing how best to optimize our hosting arrangements for cricket in Ireland and playing a few of our home matches in neutral venues overseas is something we must continue to explore, as we have done with the South Africa series this year,” the 48-year-old added.

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