Cricket: Ireland announce Belfast meetings with Pakistan
Published 25/03/2011 | 14:13
Ireland are to host Pakistan in a two-game one-day series in Belfast this summer.
Cricket Ireland is keen to build on their impressive showing in the World Cup and had already scheduled an ODI against England at Clontarf as well as games against Sri Lanka and Scotland in Edinburgh.
Now Pakistan are confirmed as the third Test playing nation to play Ireland in the coming months.
The matches will take place at Stormont on May 27 and 29 and will be the first time the two teams have met since the famous St Patrick's Day victory by the Irish at the 2007 World Cup.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "This is what we have been crying out for - fixtures against the top teams in the world.
"We have shown just how much our cricket has improved, and by playing these type of games, it'll keep growing in the right direction. We're due to play Sri Lanka and England as well this summer, so that's definitely a step in the right direction as far as Irish cricket is concerned.
"It will be a great chance for the players to pit their wits against some of the best cricketers in world cricket, and I'm sure the Irish supporters will come out in numbers to support the team in their first appearances on Irish soil following the World Cup."
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt, whose side are currently unable to host home fixtures due to security concerns, said: "The fight that the Irish team displayed at the World Cup lit up the event and has added a new flavour to international cricket.
"The Pakistan team's upcoming tour is in line with the ICC and PCB's vision of cricket development and support to associate members. We anticipate a hard fought series as the Irish team has shown that they are capable of playing against the best in the world."