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Ed Joyce and Laura Delany delighted as Ireland Women international return confirmed

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Cricket Ireland has today announced a four-match T20 International Series against Scotland Women in May 2021 to be played Stormont – the first home women’s international since May 2019, and the first women’s international hosted at Stormont since 1997.

The long-awaited return to the international arena for Ireland Women comes after a run of series and tour cancellations during 2020 – including two scheduled series against Scotland – but with two world cup qualifying campaigns set for 2021, Ireland Women head coach Ed Joyce is keen to see as much international cricket as possible over coming months:

“It goes without saying that we’re pleased to see this series given the green light – with a T20 World Cup Qualifier set for August and a 50-over World Cup Qualifier in December, we need to play as much competitive cricket this year as we can.”

“The Scots will be a good challenge, and ICC ranking points will be on the line, so we’re very much gearing up for a competitive series. It will also be fantastic to see the Ireland Women’s international team play at Stormont for the first time since 1997.”

“The players application and attitude over the last frustrating 18-20 months has been amazing, so this series is a welcome relief to the group. In addition, we’re also hopeful of having a full and varied fixture list for the team before both sets of qualifiers later this year.”

Ireland Women’s captain Laura Delany said:

“I’m absolutely delighted at the prospect of wearing the Irish shirt again. It’s been some time since we’ve played an international game so we’re definitely looking forward to getting back out there. We have worked hard over the winter period, now we need games to assess where we are at.”

“It’s important for the development and growth of the women’s game that our fixtures are spread across the country. To play at Stormont will not only be a fantastic experience for the players, but will be a boost for the women’s game in Northern Ireland.”

“Despite the disappointments of 2020, I know the squad are looking forward to the Scotland series with great anticipation and hopefully this is the first of a good block of fixtures in the lead up to the qualifiers.”

Following the announcement of their sponsorship extension of the Ireland Women’s team, Niall Franklin from Hanley Energy said:

“Like all fans for Irish women’s cricket, we are delighted to see the Ireland Women’s senior team return to action in 2021.”

“To pull on the Irish jersey is an honour at the best of times, but the depth of feeling on the 23rd of May will be profound for many who have waited 18 months to play international cricket once more. We wish the team well and will be cheering them on as they take on the Scots.”

Angela Platt, General Manager of Northern Cricket Union, said:

“We are delighted to host the Ireland Women’s series at the end of May – the first time the side has played in the NCU region since 2016. Just the fact these games are being played in Northern Ireland will be a boost for women and girl’s cricket across the northern unions. While it is still unclear whether we will be able to allow spectators at that stage, I hope this will be the first of many women’s internationals we will see here over coming years.”

IRELAND WOMEN – Scotland Series – 2021

23 May: Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 1st T20I (Stormont)
24 May: Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
26 May: Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
27 May: Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 4th T20I (Stormont)

Cricket Ireland will work with Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland and the Sport Expert Group to ensure all fixtures comply with the COVID-19 protocols in place as the season rolls out.