Simmons happy with Ireland progress
Ireland coach Phil Simmons believes cricket has gone from strength to strength in the country since his side's stunning World Cup win over England.
England wanted little reminding of the shock loss they suffered to the Irish in Bangalore two years ago as they prepared to face them again in the RSA Challenge one-day international in Dublin.
But that result provided Ireland and Irish cricket in general with a huge boost, injecting fresh momentum after the landmark win over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup.
Former West Indies batsman Simmons said: "It has had a huge impact.
"The biggest impact is that the players now believe after that that we can play against anybody and beat anybody on any stage.
"The other impact is there are a lot of people, a lot of kids playing the game all over.
"There was a little bit of that after Pakistan but there is a lot more since then.
"We have almost tripled our numbers participating over the last five or six years.
"Things like that encourage you that we are doing the right thing."
Ireland have ambitions to secure Test-playing status and Simmons, who has now been in charge of the national side for six years, believes great strides have been made on and off the field.
The downside of the progress is that some of the country's better players have felt they cannot wait for the Test dream to become reality and have switched allegiance to England.
Two such players, Eoin Morgan and Boyd Rankin, were due to face their home country in the match at Malahide.
Simmons said: "The only thing we can do is put things in place for the players. If they decide to move on, what can you do?
"But everything that has been done behind the scenes from employment of different staff, the academy coming up, the push on young players to play a lot more provincial cricket, that is what we are looking for.
"We are a little bit ahead of schedule so hopefully as we go along we can pull everyone forward a little bit."
A 10,000-strong crowd was anticipated for England's visit after all tickets for the fixture were sold.
The match has been referred to by some as Ireland's biggest ever on home on soil.
Simmons said: "Two years ago they would never have thought about this.
"They have to come out and enjoy it, enjoy the occasion, the whole village, the spectacle it will be - and enjoy the Irish win!"