Ireland will travel to Dehradun in northern India for a series of three T20Is, five ODIs and a one-off Test against Afghanistan in February-March next year.
It will be Ireland's first overseas Test match, and the second Test match for the two newest teams at the highest level – earlier in 2018, Ireland started out at home against Pakistan, losing by five wickets, while Afghanistan took on India in Bangalore, and went down by an innings and 262 runs.
The matches – all nine of them – will be played at one of the new international venues in India, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, in a span of 27 days.
“The Afghanistan series is a major step forward for Irish cricket as the tour is our first major tour as a Full Member. It will no doubt be a test for the entire squad – taking on Afghanistan in subcontinent conditions will require a level of adjustment by both our batting and bowling units,” said Andrew Balbirnie, the experienced Ireland batsman, after the itinerary was finalised on Friday, 30 November.
|23 February: 1st T20I|
|24 February: 2nd T20I|
|26 February: 3rd T20I|
|2 March: 1st ODI|
|4 March: 2nd ODI|
|7 March: 3rd ODI|
|9 March: 4th ODI|
|12 March: 5th ODI|
|17-21 March: one-off Test|
“As we saw here at home in the summer, Afghanistan is a quality side with some world-class players, and will be a great challenge in their ‘home’ conditions.”
Ireland have a busy time lined up for them in 2019. After travelling to India, they host Bangladesh and then play a Test match in England in July.
“The level and regularity of top-quality international cricket this year will be exciting for Irish cricket fans,” said Balbirnie. “The year will start with this Afghanistan series, and will involve a busy home schedule of matches involving multiple Full Member nations – starting with an ODI against England at Malahide in May. There’s also the Lord’s Test against England in July, and the year will end with the T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament in October.
“With the retirements this year of Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien and John Anderson, we know that this is a year that will require the entire squad to step up, and it will also present some of the younger guys with opportunities to stake their claim for national selection. It’s an exciting time to be involved in Irish cricket.”
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