Ireland have been invited to travel to the West Indies to take part in their domestic 50 over competition, the Nagico Super 50 and will later come up against the West Indies in two T20 internationals – and in a One Day International – at Sabina Park in February.
Head Coach ,Phil Simmons is returning to his Trinidadian homeland with Ireland, who have been invited to participate in the West Indies domestic tournament – the Nagico Super 50.
The eight team competition sees Ireland drawn in Zone A alongside Guyana, The Windward Islands and Jamaica, with games scheduled to take place betweenJanuary 30 and February 15.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Ireland’s cricketers to play in this prestigious competition,” said Irish coach Simmons.
“There’s no doubt that the matches will be of a very high standard and it’s a perfect platform for Irish cricket to show the West Indian public just how far their cricket has progressed in the past few years.
“The Caribbean holds a special place in Irish cricket history – for many this was where our unique journey started in 2007, and hopefully will be the catalyst that sees Ireland eventually be granted Test status by 2020.
Simmons, who played 169 times for the West Indies in Test and ODI cricket, is certain that his squad will prove themselves genuine contenders for the competition.
“We won’t be coming just to make up the numbers – we’re here to try and win the trophy, and while it will be difficult given the calibre of opponents, there’s no fear factor in Irish cricket any more. We have much to be proud of and this past season where we won all three trophies we competed in has given the squad great confidence going into 2014.”
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth paid tribute to the WICB for the invitation: “We’re extremely grateful to the West Indies Cricket Board for this opportunity. It will give the squad exposure to a high standard of competition which is vital as we prepare for the 2015 World Cup.”
All Ireland’s games will take place at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, with Guyana their first opponents on January 31. Their second fixture is The Windward Islands on February 3, while their group stage concludes against Jamaica onFebruary 8.
The semi-finals take place on February 12 and 13, with the final down for decision on the 15th.
In addition to the Nagico Super 50 event, the WICB also announced that defending World T20 Champions West Indies will face Ireland in two T20 Internationals at Sabina Park, Jamaica in February, 2014.
The two teams will also meet in a One-Day International also at the historic venue.
The three-match series will be played immediately following the NAGICO Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. The Irish will travel directly from Trinidad while the Windies will assemble in Jamaica on Sunday, February 16 to start their preparations.
Following the series West Indies will played three ODIs against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua (February 28, March 2 and 5) and three T20s at Kensington Oval in Barbados (March 9, 11 and 13).
“We are delighted to welcome the Irish Team to play against our Windies in this upcoming series. It comes immediately after the NAGICO Super50 Tournament and will be a great opportunity for the squad to get quality preparation ahead of the visit by England and before they head off to defend the ICC World T20 title which they won so spectacularly back in October 2012,” said Richard Pybus, the WICB’s Director of Cricket.
“It will also signal the start of the international season in the West Indies and it promises to be a bumper year of cricket for the fans here in the Caribbean. The Windies will have several assignments and we foresee some tough and exciting cricket as we look to build and move up the ICC rankings in all three formats.”
West Indies vs Ireland
All At Sabina Park, Jamaica
Wednesday, February 19: 1st T20 International
Friday, February 21: 2nd T20 International
Sunday, February 23: One-Day International