Some good news from Cricket Ireland today after last week's two-game series with Sri Lanka ended in a heavy defeat and an infuriating, rain-soaked abandonment. The sport's governing body has announced that the Boys in Green will play prestige one-day internationals against England and Australia next summer.
— Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) May 12, 2014
The date for the England fixture has yet to be agreed, but it has been confirmed that Australia will visit on Thursday August 27 after the conclusion of the fifth Ashes Test. Their most recent visit to Dublin was in 2010, where they were made to work very hard in front of a full house at Clontarf. They returned to Ireland in 2012, but the ODI in Belfast was abandoned due to rain after just 10.4 overs.
A good showing by Ireland in the 2015 World Cup will further raise interest in the fixtures, along with the World Twenty20 qualifiers which will be co-hosted by Ireland and Scotland next summer. The 14-team tournament will run from July 9 until August 2 and will offer six qualification places for the 2016 finals in India.
One can only hope that the weather for these games will be the similar to September 3 last year, when the 10,000-strong crowd at Malahide were treated to a wonderful day in the baking sun, only to have one-time local boy Eoin Morgan ruin Ireland's day with his devastating 124 not out.
Ireland's next international outing will be against Scotland at Malahide on September 8.