Ireland to face India in Dublin T20s this summer


Ireland’s Gary Wilson watches his shot in the 2007 defeat by India in Belfast

Ireland will host India for the first time since 2007 when the sides meet in two T20s this summer.

The matches will be held at Malahide, with the opener on 27 June and the second match two days later.

“It’s fantastic news for the lads and fans alike,” said Ireland head coach Graham Ford, who will be in charge of his first T20s with the team.

“The games will be a huge challenge for us but what an opportunity it is for everyone to showcase their talents.”

The India squad includes Virat Kohli, who is currently ranked third in the ICC rankings for T20 batsmen.

Ireland have dropped to 18th in the T20 rankings while India lie third.

India cruised to a nine-wicket victory over Ireland in a rain-interrupted ODI in Belfast 11 years ago.

Ford added: “The matches will be played in front of a huge audience, both at the games and live on television.

Virat Kohli is among the India stars set to take on Ireland at Malahide in the T20s

“I’m sure the players will respond positively to the occasion with the added incentive of knowing eye-catching displays could result in a possible IPL contract.

“We haven’t played our best cricket in the format in recent years which is reflected in the rankings, but what better time to start climbing the ladder again.

“We have a number of players ideally suited to the short form and on home soil it’s a great opportunity to cause a shock or two.”

It will be a busy and historic year for Ireland, who start 2018 with a four-match ODI series against UAE and Scotland this week.

They will take part in the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March, while May sees the country play Pakistan in their maiden men’s Test match at Malahide.

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