Ireland will play India in two T20 internationals in Dublin in June. Both games will be held at Malahide, with the first encounter taking place on Wednesday, June 27th and the second match two days later on Friday, June 29.
It will be the first time that the sides have met on Irish soil since they played an ODI in Belfast back in 2007.
It will also be, in all likelihood, the biggest audience for any Irish sporting performance over the next twelve months.
Last year’s third test between India and Australia drew an audience on TV and online of 383 million while the whole series racked up viewing figures of 1.1 billion.
These numbers will delight Turkish Airlines who will be on the Irish shirt fronts as Cricket Ireland for this historic year for the sport.
Ireland start the year with a four-match One Day International series against the United Arab Emirates and Scotland this week.
The team take part in the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March, while May will see them play Pakistan in their first ever men’s Test Match, also at Malahide from May 11th to 15th.
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom was delighted at securing the two-match series against one of the world’s cricketing superpowers.
“We are excited to welcome back India to Ireland for the first time in 11 years,” said Deutrom.
“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.”
“Cricket Ireland is most grateful to BCCI for its support in the midst of the team’s hectic schedule, and we look forward to working with them on similar opportunities in the future.”
Off the field, it is an important statement as well, as India are reported to have been reluctant supporters, on financial grounds, of the step up to full test status achieved by Ireland and Afghanistan last year
The games against India will be the first T20 internationals for Ireland Head Coach Graham Ford, and the South African is relishing the prospect.
“It’s fantastic news for the lads and fans alike,” said Ford. “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 Indian Premier League 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 game and on home soil, it’s a great opportunity to cause a shock or two.”
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