IRELAND WILL PLAY a one-day international against Australia in Belfast next June, it has been announced.
The fixture, sponsored by RSA Insurance Ireland, came as great news to Warren Deutrom, the CEO of Cricket Ireland.
“We are delighted to welcome Australia to Belfast in 2012 after their exciting RSA Challenge ODI against Ireland in Dublin 2010,” he said.
“Although opportunities to find space in the Future Tours Programme are rare against the world’s leading teams, it is apparent that Cricket Australia is committed to ensuring that the top Associates, like Scotland and Ireland, have a chance to test themselves against the best and help us to improve.
“Off the field, the visit of such teams gives a massive boost to the profile of the sport, delivers a terrific return on investment to our valued partners and a wonderful day out for our fans.”
Irish coach Phil Simmons, meanwhile, can not wait to test his side’s skills against the number one team in the world on 23 June.
“It’s fantastic that we’re taking on Australia on home soil again. We had a wonderful opportunity to beat them in Dublin last year but let the game slip,” he said, referring to Australia win by 39 runs in Dublin last year.
“I know just how much that defeat hurt the players, so it’s great to get another chance to play them. As a coach and a player, these are the sort of fixtures that you thrive on, and with the backing of the crowd in Belfast, we’ve a genuine chance of pulling off another famous win.”