Thursday 8 August 2013 

Countdown To Ireland-England ODI Begins

Paul Stirling (left) and Ed Joyce hold the RSA Challenge Trophy at Lord's
© Cricket Ireland
 

With cricket mania sweeping the whole of the United Kingdom as Ashes fever reaches boiling point, the sport is enjoying huge popularity and attention as the excitement builds once again ahead of the fourth Test which starts in Durham tomorrow.

However, it’s not just the UK who are being engrossed and benefiting from the exhilarating battle between the two great rivals. Cricket Ireland yesterday revealed that they have sold nearly 7,000 tickets for next month’s One-Day International against England’s Ashes heroes in Dublin.

Already, it will be the biggest crowd ever seen at a cricket match on the Emerald Isle as the sport continues to enjoy a meteoric rise and by the time the first ball is bowled on 3rd September, the sold-out signs are expected to be in place.

The game will mark another significant moment in the development of cricket in Ireland as the country’s new international ground in Malahide will open its doors for the first time for the visit of Ashley Giles’ side.  

With over 10,000 fans expected to be packed into the North Dublin venue, a carnival atmosphere is expected and Ireland head coach Phil Simmons is confident that the highly charged will inspire his team to further glory as they look to recreate the famous result from two years ago when Ireland beat England at the Cricket World Cup in 2011

"It'll be a cause for double celebration as we've confirmed our qualification for the 2015 World Cup and England have held onto The Ashes.

"There's always an extra edge when Ireland play England in any sport and cricket is no exception. I guess our win in the World Cup will always be brought up when the sides clash, but that's history now." Simmons explained.

"It's time for new memories and new heroic deeds. We've a strong settled side packed with county players who are all very experienced. I've every faith that the team can once again make the fans and the country proud against England next month."

England will no doubt be relishing the opportunity to avenge the defeat in Bangalore as well as finalising their preparations for the One-Day International series against Australia which starts three days after their trip to Dublin.

Ireland continue to make great strides as they push for Test status and their latest encounter with England will provide them with another chance to further enhance their claims to the International Cricket Council.

However, after a tie and narrow defeat to Pakistan in May, Phil Simmons’ side have yet to beat a Full Member country on home soil and are desperate to change that.

Trent Johnston, who will retire at the end of the year, believes that a first major scalp on Irish soil is long overdue and is desperate to give the Irish public one more memorable day before he calls time on a glittering career.

"It's been disappointing that we haven't beaten a Full Member in Dublin yet, but I know just how determined the team is to rectify that situation.

"I made my debut in 2004 when we had a great win over Surrey, but despite being in great positions a few times – not least against England, as well as Australia and Pakistan - we haven't managed to get over the finishing line," the veteran bowler said.

"It's all set up to be a fantastic occasion at Malahide with 10,000 fans packed in. There's bound to be a special atmosphere and it'd be special to give the fans a winning start at the new stadium."

The Barmy Army are known around the world for their passionate support and little prevents them from travelling to all four corners of the globe to follow their team.

This will be no different in September as hoards of English fans are expected to descend on the Irish capital thanks to a fantastic package being offered by Cricket Ireland.

The package which costs just £159 per person includes two nights in the four-star Bewley’s Hotel in Dublin 4, a ticket to the match in the England fan section, airport transfers and access to the fans game between the Barmy Army and Blarney Army on September 2nd.

To secure your ticket visit cricketireland.ie or ticketmaster.ie

© Cricket World 2013