Cricket Ireland are leaving no stone unturned as they look to thoroughly prepare for
next year's fifty-over World Cup by touring Australia and New Zealand this autumn.
The Irish have announced a series of games against high-class opposition that should help the team acclimatise to conditions down under and help them prepare their game plans ahead of some tough Pool B games.
The World Cup in 2015, whch runs during February and March, will be Ireland's third
appearance and they will no doubt be looking to upset one of the full ICC member countries this time round.
Whilst the Irish will be confident in their ability to beat the likes of Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates in their group they will be equally focussed on toppling India, Pakistan, West Indies or South Africa to enhance their growing reputation and the reputation of the leading associate members around the World.
To do this Ireland need to be well prepared and this is why they have arranged and announced these eight warm-up games. Most countries will be focussing on their preparation for the World Cup during the remainder of this year and early next year as Test cricket takes a back-seat. For instance, England will not play a Test match after their current India series until after the World Cup as they concentrate on ODI cricket.
Ireland's first leg of the tour will be in Australia with an opening game against the Queensland Bulls on the Gold Coast on September 30th. They will then embark on three more games in Australia in early October before embarking on the New Zealand leg of the tour. The first game in New Zealand will be in Hamilton against Northern Districts on October 16th and concludes on October 23rd against Otago in Lincoln.
Ireland's Head Coach, Phil Simmons, will want to give his side every chance of success
and will know exactly what it takes to ensure a side is well-prepared for a World Cup. The former West Indies international will hope to build on some fantastic results for Ireland in World cricket, not least their shock victory over England in the 2011 World Cup. With the majority of Ireland's squad playing county cricket in England they are now exposed to better cricket week in week out so will be no push overs for any of the full member countries when
the World Cup takes place.
Before the tour down under commences Ireland will also play three ODIs against Scotland at the beginning of September as part of their preparations.
Ireland's first game of the 2015 World Cup is against the West Indies in Nelson on the
Ireland's Australia and New Zealand tour fixtures
30 September: v Queensland Bulls, Kerrydale Oval, Gold Coast
2 October: v Queensland Bulls, Redlands Oval, Brisbane
7 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
9 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
16 October: v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 October: v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21 October: v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23 October: v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln