Cricket Ireland reveal exciting schedule for 2020

Andrew Balbirnie  plays a shot during the One Day International match between Ireland and West Indies at Malahide last year
Andrew Balbirnie plays a shot during the One Day International match between Ireland and West Indies at Malahide last year
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Ireland will have home games against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Pakistan in 2020 after Cricket Ireland confirmed dates and fixtures for 2020 yesterday.

Belfast’s Stormont will host Ireland against Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series at Stormont onMay 14, 16 and 19.

New Zealand will be their opponents for three T20Is at Bready on June 19, 21 and 23, followed by three ODIs at Stormont on June 27 and 30 and July 2.

They will play Pakistan in two ODIs at Malahide on 12 and 14 July.

Four remaining fixtures are still to be allocated and will have dates and venues confirmed next montht due to venue negotiation currently underway - these are the T20I’s against Bangladesh, scheduled to be played in late May following the ODI series with that country.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said: “There is no doubt that this will remain one of the biggest home seasons for Ireland, with the hosting of the number one T20I side in the world, and the runners-up at the most recent 50-over World Cup.

“However, this has also undoubtedly been our most complex match allocation process ever, given the multiple challenges we are working through.

“Chief among these is the loss of access to one of our international grounds for at least 2020, with Clontarf undergoing extensive renovations.

“With this venue loss, we have been reduced to 12 pitches available across our three remaining international grounds that need to cater for 15 matches.

“Given the ICC’s high standards of expectation regarding pitch quality, this has influenced several of the match allocations.

“Also key to our deliberations has been the need to provide a high volume of white-ball cricket given the T20 World Cup in October and the start of the World Cup Super League.”

He added: “The match allocation process has obvious knock-on effects to the inter-provincial fixtures and finalisation of club cricket scheduling, so we have been eager to resolve these fixture allocations as expediently as possible.

“The outstanding fixtures that remain unallocated at this stage are the T20 Internationals against Bangladesh.

“We are currently investigating venue options that will fit with our limited scheduling windows and fresh pitch availability – this includes looking at an option of hosting the Bangladesh T20Is in neutral venues in England as a temporary option until our venue and pitch capacity is back at full strength.

“Despite some recent commentary, it has always been a strategic priority – let alone a necessity – of the Cricket Ireland Board to see international fixtures spread around our venues, and we believe the schedule we have released will achieve this, including seeing Bready host key New Zealand internationals with the support of Derry & Strabane Council and the Northern Ireland Department of Communities.

“This was a matter both the Cricket Ireland Board and Match Allocation Group discussed in great detail, and all parties have worked hard in collaboration to reach this positive solution.”

The Ireland Men’s team head out for a six-match tour of the West Indies in January, travel to India in March to play a series against Afghanistan, and then travel to Zimbabwe in April, before launching a big home season in mid-May.

The year will also include a three-match ODI series against England in September as part of the World Cup Super League, followed by participation in the Men’s T20 World Cup in October.

The first Ireland Wolves home fixture for 2020 will be against Bangladesh at North Down on May 11.