With the Ashes series just weeks away and places still very much up for grabs, opportunity is very much the buzz word around Stormont as Australia 'A' continue their tour of the British Isles with a four-day game against an Irish side shorn of their county cricket stars.
However, it's not just the Australians who have plenty riding on this weekend's clash but also the hosts who will hand several fringe players the chance to impress coach Phil Simmons.
England have responded to losing senior pace bowlers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to injury by calling up Irish-capped Warwickshire quick man Boyd Rankin.
Broad and Finn will miss the second One-Day International with knee and shin injuries while Tim Bresnan may miss part of the series as his wife is expected to give birth in the next week.
The battle for this week's Cricket World Player of the Week award is a close contest between four men. Kamran Akmal and Kevin O'Brien both played starring roles in the highly entertaining ODI series in Clontarf, while Graeme Swann and Joe Root excelled during the rain-hit second Test at Headingley.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have signed an agreement for England and Wales to host the 2019 World Cup.
The tournament will be held in June 2019 at 10 venues with 10 teams competing after the agreement was signed during meetings in Dubai.
Having come so close to recording another major scalp on Thursday, Ireland were once again left to rue a missed opportunity as Pakistan finalised their preparations for the Champions Trophy with a thrilling two-wicket win in the second One-Day International at Clontarf.
With the visitors staring down the barrel of an upset defeat, Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz smashed the Irish bowling attack to all corners of the picturesque Dublin venue as they added 93 for the eighth wicket.
Ireland once again underlined their ability to compete with the heavyweights of world cricket, coming close to recording another famous victory over Pakistan but in the end had to settle for a tie in the first One-Day International in Dublin.
Paul Stirling's second successive century against Pakistan got Phil Simmons' side off to the perfect start in their pursuit of 276 before Kevin O'Brien's explosive innings of 84 meant the game went into the final over.
Ireland have named an unchanged squad for their One-Day International against Pakistan in Dublin with the same players that beat United Arab Emirates in two ODIs in March entrusted to take on Misbah-ul-Haq's side.
The squad is an experienced one, and coach Phil Simmons believes his side is capable of beating Pakistan - as they did during the 2007 World Cup.
Having played in the famous 2007 victory over the same opponents, Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien is looking forward to his side's two One-Day Internationals against Pakistan later this month.
O'Brien, who has now played for Ireland 190 times, was making just his 15th match when, under Trent Johnston's captaincy, they sent shockwaves around the world with one of the World Cup's biggest upsets.
Cricket Ireland (CI) have suspended all-rounder John Mooney for three matches after he posted an 'offensive and inappropriate' tweet reacting to the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
He has been suspended for the first One-Day International against Pakistan in May and two Inter-Provincial matches beginning on 6th and 14th May respectively.
Cricket Ireland have revealed an encouraging increase in cricket participation as the popularity of the game in Ireland continues to grow.
24,654 youngsters are now playing the game, more than double the figure of 11,955 in 2011, this rise consistent with growth in all categories following a survey undertaken for the Intenational Cricket Council (ICC).
Cricket Ireland has chosen the Jack & Jill Foundation as their first ever charity partner, both sides signing up for an initial one-year partnership.
The aim of the initial year-long partnership is to help create awareness for the charity and the important services they provide throughout the expanding cricket community in Ireland.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a new playing condition for international cricket whereby a no ball will be called if a bowler breaks the stumps at the non-striker's end during the act of delivering the ball.
The playing condition has been implemented after the MCC decided to introduce a new law to the same effect from 1st October, advising the ICC to introduce the playing condition.
Ireland made it three wins out of three on the limited-overs leg of their tour of the United Arab Emirates, following up victory in the two 50-over matches with a win in the one-off Twenty20 today.
Tim Murtagh, who sat out the two World Cricket League Championship fixtures, returned figures of three for 11 from his four overs to help restrict the home side to 122 for nine. Captain William Porterfield then ensured that the run chase would pose no major problems, hitting 58 off 40 balls
Ireland took another big step towards securing qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with a six-wicket victory over United Arab Emirates in the second and final one-day game in Sharjah.
The win, which followed up a five-wicket victory in the first game, extends their lead at the top of the ICC World Cricket League Championship table to four points.
Ireland extended their lead at the top of the World Cricket League Championship by beating nearest rivals United Arab Emirates by five wickets in the first of two one-day games in Sharjah.
Batting first, UAE were dismissed for 165 as Paul Stirling and Alex Cusack both took three wickets and Ireland survived a mid-innings wobble to reach their target in 42 overs.
The ICC Intercontinental Cup match between Ireland and United Arab Emirates in Sharjah ended in a high-scoring draw as four players scored centuries.
Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien and Khurram Khan in the first innings and then William Porterfield in the second innings reached three figures in a game in which 1,137 runs were scored and just 19 wickets taken.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has finalised Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP) agreements with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).
The TAPP progamme has been designed to develop more competitive teams at the highest level of international cricket.
Ireland are stepping up their bid to become a Test-playing nation by appointing professional coaches and administrators tot he three teams competing in the new Inter-Provincial domestic competition.
Leinster Lightning, Northern Knights and North West Warriors will play Twenty20, one-day and three-day games against one another and all three will be recruiting head coaches and administrators.
The MCC World Cricket Committee has concluded its two-day meeting in Auckland - its first in New Zealand - at which a number of topical issues were discussed.
Following the meeting, the committee issued statements on the subjects that were raised, chief among them was corruption in cricket.
Cricket Ireland have named a list of 17 players who have been awarded contracts for the 2013 season, with Max Sorensen among those being rewarded.
After an impressive 2012 season, Sorensen has been awarded an 'A' grade contract along with Trent Johnston, John Mooney, Alex Cusack and Kevin O'Brien.