Aussies to follow England to Ireland for ODIs
The busiest year in the history of Irish cricket got busier yesterday with the announcement that Australia will play a one-day international at Malahide in 2015.
Ireland were already scheduled to play a one-day international against England and jointly host the World T20 qualifying tournament with Scotland after taking part in the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February and March.
But the visit of Darren Lehmann's team in the immediate aftermath of a five-Test Ashes series is the icing on the cake.
While England's pre-Ashes visit will be at the mercy of the early season weather that blighted last week's RSA series against Sri Lanka, conditions should be much better for Australia's mouthwatering visit on August 27.
Ireland should probably have recorded their first ODI victory over Australia in 2010 when, after restricting Ricky Ponting's side to 231-9 they reached 137-3 in reply, only to fall away to 192 all out. An ODI in Belfast two years ago was abandoned after 10.4 overs.
"The international schedule of the major teams is incredibly busy so we are delighted that both England and Australia will be able to play Ireland in 2015," Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said.
"The games are exactly what we need to make progress, and off the field the visit of such teams lifts the profile of the sport as well as boosting the local economy and providing a wonderful day out for our fans."
Next year's fixture list is in contrast to this season where, after losing the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Clontarf last week and seeing the second rained off, Ireland have only six more days of international cricket.
Sri Lanka 'A' play three one-day games in Belfast and Coleraine in July and there are three ODIs against Scotland at Malahide on September 8, 10 and 12.