Top-class International cricket comes to Stormont in July
This summer sees an opportunity to watch top-flight cricket right here in Northern Ireland as some of the world’s top-ranking teams come to compete.
Cricket Ireland says this will be a chance for sport-lovers and families to see some of the best cricket – in fantastic settings, on home turf.
This July the country plays host to the world’s number one women’s team – Australia – as part of a T20 International Tri-series - and the world’s number two men’s team – New Zealand – in a thrilling three-match T20I series at Stormont.
The T20 International Women’s Tri-series in July will see six sizzling matches played out at the stunning Bready Cricket Club. This series involves women’s teams from Ireland, Pakistan and world cup-winning Australia, who last played here in 2015.
Craig Easdown, media manager for Cricket Ireland, said this was not only a chance to see top-class cricket at home, but an opportunity to build on participation in cricket from kids through to adults across the North.
Women in cricket
“Men’s cricket has been the shop window for many years in Ireland, but women’s cricket is one of, if not the fastest growing segment of our sport – and it has come very far in Northern Ireland,” he said, with the numbers of girls and young women rising at club and grassroots level.
Cricket Ireland has put its money where its mouth is, in committing investing significantly in the women’s game, the organisation announced women’s professional playing contracts earlier this year – eight are full-time and 12 paid part-time as they are still in education.
“It’s a new era for women’s cricket. This is only the second sport to award full time professional contracts to women in this country,” said Craig – the first was in rugby.
“Bringing high class games to Northern Ireland gives people the chance to see top level players up close. It’s a real case of ‘If you can see it, you can be it’, as we hope the series may inspire a new generation to try cricket. It’ll be fun, fast and fearless women’s sport on display.”
The games will be a hotly-contested warm-up for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later in the year – the first time cricket has been included in this event.
There are six matches in the Tri-series – on July 16, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 24. For the full fixture list, click here.
The men’s T20I series at Stormont
This is a three-match T20I series between Ireland and New Zealand (ranked second in the world). The teams are both heading to the T20 World Cup in October – so you can expect the competition here at Stormont to be fierce as the two side’s build towards the big event.
It’s the first time the New Zealanders have been in our country since 2017 and they’ll be facing a very new-look and strong Ireland side. Local lad Paul Stirling, from Belfast will lead the charge (he was named by the ICC as one of the best T20 players of last year) and Mark Adair, who captains the Inter-Provincial Northern Knights, will be showing his bowling prowess on the field.
Matches take place on July 18, 20 and 22. Not only will there be activities at the ground, as well as food and drink concessions, but there will be hospitality packages available on certain days. Any unsold tickets will be available on the day – but it’s advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
A grand day out
Attending such top quality games is an opportunity which doesn’t come often to Northern Ireland – but it’s more than just seeing the match.
You can see the women’s series for just £5 a ticket (free entry for kids), so it’s an affordable day out. Not only will you see the T20 games – which last about three hours – but there will be activities around the ground, a chance to learn more about local clubs, food and drink concessions and a great family atmosphere throughout.
The pitch at Bready is just outside Derry/Londonderry. It’s a beautiful ground in a lovely rural setting with free parking close by.
The men’s T20I series will be played at Stormont, with entry just £15 adults, £5 kids. This renowned cricket venue easily accessible by car or public transport.
Tickets and live streaming
For match fixtures and to buy tickets for the women’s T20I tri-series at Bready or the men’s T20I at Stormont visit the website.
Matches will also be broadcast or livestreamed – see the Cricket Ireland website for details.
Legacy for the future
“It’s all about providing an opportunity for fans to see some of the world’s best in their own backyard, and inspiring a new generation,” Craig explained. “We also want to give parents the idea that cricket is a sport their child might want to get involved in.”
“The sustainability of any sport is about the grass roots, and we want to encourage and grow a vibrant local game in Northern Ireland.”
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