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ESSEX’S Cloudfm County Ground is to stage one of Ireland’s four-match T20 International matches with Bangladesh in May.
The series begins on Friday, May 22 at the Kia Oval (6:30pm) with Chelmsford next up on Sunday 24 (2pm).
The Bristol County Ground and Edgbaston will also host the two countries and is part of the ICC Future Tours Programme.
A statement from Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, enthused: “We greatly appreciate the support of the ECB and each of the venues involved in hosting this series. This will be a great set of fixtures being played in some of England’s finest and most atmospheric grounds.”
“2020 is one of Ireland’s biggest home seasons with three major nations touring and 15 matches to host. Consequently, it has been our most complex match allocation process ever, given the multiple challenges we are working through. Chief among these is the loss of access to one of our four international grounds for probably two seasons, with Clontarf undergoing extensive renovations.”
“With this venue loss, we have been reduced to 12 pitches available across our three remaining international grounds that need to cater for 15 matches. As such, the Board required alternative solutions to not only ensure we can fulfil our Future Tour Programme hosting obligations, but also accommodate a window to host the Euro T20 Slam in Dublin, should that proceed.”
“Two of my colleagues, last year, attended an Essex Eagles T20 match at Chelmsford last year and were raving about the atmosphere and fans at the ground. So we are delighted to bring this match to Essex – it will be, in fact, the first time in 14 years that Ireland has played at the ground. Back in our Associate days, we played Essex three times at the ground. We hope to see the local fans, regardless of allegiance, come out and enjoy what will undoubtedly be a competitive spectacle.”
“Our thanks also to the Bangladesh Cricket Board for their agreement to support this initiative, and we look forward to a great series.”
Meanwhile, Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the ECB, said:
“We are passionate about helping to protect and grow the game across the world and we are delighted to be able to support Cricket Ireland by hosting this series. We can’t wait to welcome both Ireland and Bangladesh as part of what promises to be an incredibly exciting summer of cricket.
“We saw at first hand the passion and joy both Irish and Bangladeshi fans brought to our venues last year and I’m sure both sets of supporters will enjoy some high-quality cricket at all four grounds.”
Essex County Cricket Club have confirmed that tickets will be available for the match via www.essexcricket.org.uk from 10am on Monday, March 16.