Whilst International cricketers across the globe are starting preparations for the
50-over World Cup, which takes place in Australia and New Zealand next February and March, Cricket Ireland are looking further ahead.
Ireland are due to host England in their first International after the World Cup in a 50-over contest on May 8th at Malahide. Preparations and ticket sales are already well under way for what will be their biggest date in the calendar year.
National Coach, and former West Indies star, Phil Simmons will be confident that his side can cause an upset similar to the victory Ireland achieved over England in the World Cup in 2011.
His, and Ireland's, confidence will come from the fact that England's Test match stars are unlikely to be participating in the game due to their Test series in the West Indies ending just three days before this clash.
England's trip to Ireland has become a regular occurrence recently, this will be England's fifth visit in nine years, and each game seems to get bigger and bigger. Last year England emerged victorious at Malahide in front of a record crowd for a game of cricket in Ireland, 10,000. However, Irish cricket is confident that an upset can be achieved once again in the not too distant future.
Ireland will probably be at full strength for this game next year and I fully expect them to give England a very stern test after returning from the World Cup with perhaps a scalp of one of the established international sides under their belt.
Before the England game Ireland will face a tricky World Cup group as they take on the likes of India, South Africa and Pakistan in Group B. However, they will be targeting an upset, possibly against Zimbabwe or the West Indies.
Their preparations are already underway as they are currently playing Scotland in an ODI series in Dublin. After winning the first game comfortably by seven wickets the two are to play each other again on Wednesday in the second match of the series.
Ireland have a lot to look forward to in 2015 and I am sure they will do themselves justice as they look to continue to develop as a nation in International cricket.
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