Fitting stage set for Irish cricket’s biggest test
Malahide will host an attendance of 10,000 as Ireland host England in eagerly-awaited clash
“It is an incredible amount of effort just for one match,” admits Deutrom, pointing out as an example the two-storey hospitality pavilion that was last used at the British Open at Muirfield. “The hospitality marquee is usually used for multi-day events such as horse racing and golf, so to use it just for one day might be construed as a waste, but I don’t think it will be because it has paid for itself through the fact that corporate hospitality sold out incredibly early. In fact, I think there are going to be something in the region of 600-650 corporate hospitality guests and we could have sold 1,000 . . . .
“There’s an extraordinary level of interest in this game and for me it crystallises the vision we all have for Irish cricket, which is that you have the best teams in the world playing in front of 10,000 people, in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Effectively, everyone is going to get their view of what we believe is the future of Irish cricket.”
The process that led to this started in the warm afterglow of Ireland’s performances at the 2007 World Cup and the huge growth in interest in the game that came from the performances of Adrian Birrell’s side in the Caribbean.
The issue of a permanent home for Irish cricket was at the top of the agenda and the politicians were quick to add their support from the back of the bandwagon at a welcome home party hosted by the Irish Sports Council at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Moving into 2008, though, the dark clouds of the economic downturn were started to drift in and it quickly became obvious that time was of the essence in getting the funding in place for the new ground.
Malahide made the bold move of going ahead with the installation of a new square that would fit international regulations, with the limitations of the ground having been shown up after an Intercontinental Cup match against Canada in the summer of 2008 ended after a downpour flooded the ground .
A few months earlier their joint bid with Fingal County Council had been picked from the three proposals made to Cricket Ireland, but it wasn’t until October 2009 that work commenced on the new square following approval from the Council for redevelopment of the ground that included the granting of a sporting lease on a significant parcel of land.