Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ireland set to play South Africa in Abu Dhabi in September

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With no permanent home stadium, Ireland will instead host the white-ball clashes in the Middle East

Later this year, Ireland are set to host South Africa in a two-match T20I and three-match ODI series away from home in Abu Dhabi. Their board’s chief executive, Warren Deutrom, insisted that the decision is based on their ‘current infrastructure restraints’, which will help them overcome that. 

Before the white-ball series against South Africa, Ireland will also host Zimbabwe in a one-off Test match, only their second home Test in their history. Back in 2018, Ireland hosted their first home Test against Pakistan in Dublin, in a clash where they lost by five wickets. 

The one-off Test will kick off on July 25, but the six-match white-ball series against the same opponents will not proceed. They will face South Africa in a two-match T20I series starting September 27. Meanwhile, the ODI series will begin on October 2, with subsequent matches on October 4 and 7. 

“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,” Deutrom said. 

“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,” he added.

“Continually reviewing how best to optimise 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.”

Not just in men’s cricket, Ireland will also host England’s women for the first time since 1995. 

“Irish cricket fans are in for a treat in 2024 with more than 40 days of senior international cricket to enjoy between April and October – potentially more if our women can qualify for this year’s T20 World Cup,” Deutrom said.

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