Irish Cricket supremo, Phil Simmons is confident Ireland’s cricketers can record another famous victory over their closest neighbours when they do battle with England on Tuesday September 3rd.
Speaking at the ticket launch for next year’s RSA Challenge at Malahide Castle, the 49 year old spoke of the progress Irish cricket has made since he took charge in 2007 and his excitement with the launch of the new international venue in Malahide.
“There’s a new belief in Irish cricket and that comes from the confidence the players have from beating teams like England. There’s no doubt in my mind that the result in Bangalore brought home to the squad that they belong at the elite level.
“The professionalism on the field has been matched by events off it, and the new international venue at Malahide is going to be a fantastic resource for both the players and the fans. It’s bound to be a magnificent occasion as we take on England, and I’m sure the fans will once again come out in large numbers to support the team.”
The RSA Challenge will be the biggest cricket match ever to be held in Ireland, with the new Malahide all-seater venue being able to host a higher capacity than has ever been seen on the island of Ireland for an international cricket match.
Ireland will be hoping their new venue sees a change in luck in their home clashes against the old enemy, having lost the three previous encounters on Irish soil narrowly by 38, 3 and 11 runs respectively.
John Mooney, who struck the winning runs when Ireland beat England in that epic World Cup battle said: “It’s going to be a great occasion to play England again and it’ll be a superb boost to the team to have a capacity crowd behind us. There’s always an extra edge and a great atmosphere when Ireland play England at any sport and it brings out the best in us all. It’s extra special for me in the fact that the game is in Fingal and I’m hoping the new venue at Malahide turns into a real fortress for Irish cricket.”
Next summer also sees a visit from Australia.
Cricket Ireland has confirmed that it will play an Australia A side in a four-day contest this summer, with the fixture pencilled in for 14-17 June.
The game has been arranged to give the Australians match practice ahead of the Ashes campaign, with their side expected to feature many of the Test stars not involved in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth welcomed the news saying: “It’s a tremendous boost for all involved with Irish cricket that we’ve secured such a high profile first-class fixture in Ireland. The fact that the Australian XI will contain a number of high profile test cricketers means it’s sure to attract a large crowd.
“It will be a great test of our cricketers and I’m sure they will acquit themselves well against opponents who will be determined to put in a strong showing ahead of the Ashes campaign. We’ve haven’t finalised a venue for the prestigious game yet, but have plenty of options to choose from. This match is one of a number of international games we’ve lined up for 2013 which is shaping up to be one of our busiest and most exciting seasons to date.”
Ireland has played only one previous first class fixture against an Australian side, when they lost by five wickets at Rathmines in 1998. Current Australian international Mike Hussey scored an unbeaten 125 in that game in which Ed Joyce also played. Interestingly, Steve Waugh played for Ireland in the match, top scoring in the Irish second innings with 45 after being forced to follow-on.
Tickets for the RSA Challenge, against England meanwhile, are priced at just €40 for Adults for a full day’s entertainment, with family tickets only €99 and they are on sale now.
The game against England is sure to be a sell out so here is an early opportunity to purchase that ticket for the big game .