Tuesday 11 December 2018

Ireland to host two T20 matches against India this summer

Virat Kohli could play at Malahide
Virat Kohli could play at Malahide

Ireland will host two Twenty20 internationals against India in Dublin this summer , marking the first time the sides have met in any format on Irish soil since June 2007.

The opener will be on Wednesday, June 27, with the second match to be played two days later at Malahide, the venue for Ireland's inaugural Test match against Pakistan in May.

The double-header will act as part of India's preparations for their three-match T20 series against England, which gets under way the following week.

Ireland are currently 18th in the International Cricket Council T20 rankings but head coach Graham Ford senses an opportunity for several of his players to make a name for themselves against third-ranked India.

"It's fantastic news for the lads and fans alike," he said. "The matches will of course be a huge challenge for the team, but what an opportunity for everyone to showcase their talents in front of a huge audience, both at the games and live on television.

"I'm sure the players will respond positively to the occasion with the added incentive of knowing eye-catching displays could result in a possible IPL contract.

"We haven't played our best cricket in the format in recent years which is reflected in the rankings, but what better time to start climbing the ladder again. We have a number of players ideally suited to the short-form and on home soil it's a great opportunity to cause a shock or two."

Virat Kohli had yet to begin his international career when India defeated Ireland in a one-day international in June 2007 in Belfast, while fellow star players Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma could be among those to feature in the Irish capital.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: "We are excited to welcome back India to Ireland for the first time in 11 years.

"We are sure crowds will be keen to get a rare glimpse of some of the sport's T20 superstars in the height of summer in Dublin."

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