Cricket Ireland to look at building new national stadium

Board opt against redeveloping Malahide in favour of moving to National Sports Campus

Malahide Cricket Club. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Malahide Cricket Club. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Cricket Ireland has announced plans to look into building a new permanent stadium in Dublin after deciding against redeveloping Malahide.

Ireland joined the top table at the International Cricket Council last year after being granted full member status and their historic first Test will be staged at Malahide against Pakistan from May 11th-15th.

But a decision to explore relocating to the National Cricket Stadium at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Dublin has been agreed by the board due to the proliferation of matches Ireland will host in the next few years as a result of their new status.

Dublin venues Malahide and Clontarf, as well as Stormont in Belfast and Bready in Tyrone have previously staged international matches.

Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, said: “Cricket in Ireland is entering an exciting new phase, as we begin to understand more and more the implications and obligations of becoming an ICC full member.

“We anticipate that the new Future Tours Programme (FTP) will be finalised by the ICC in April this year. It is likely to involve the senior men alone playing about 60 home matches over the next five seasons.

“What has become abundantly clear to the board is that this dramatic increase in our home schedule means that we will need to share the load beyond our four existing international-standard grounds around Ireland.

“It has been no secret that our initial thinking was based around a redevelopment and expansion of Malahide Cricket Club.

“When we selected Malahide as the location for our main stadium in Dublin a decade ago, Irish cricket was in a very different position with a much smaller fixture list. By achieving Test status and joining the FTP, we’ve had to ask ourselves the tough question of whether that decision is still fit-for-purpose.

“It was a decision the board did not take lightly. Regardless of any future decision we are keen for Malahide to remain in use as an international ground for many years to come.”

While their Test against Pakistan will take top-billing this summer, Cricket Ireland confirmed a limited-overs series in August against Afghanistan, who were also granted Test status in 2017.

Three Twenty20 internationals will take place at Bready while three one-day internationals follow at Stormont.

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