Ireland confirm Tri-series with New Zealand and Bangladesh

John Bracewell faces his native Black Caps in May 2017 ahead of ICC Champions Trophy

Ireland have confirmed they will play a Tri-series with New Zealand and Bangladesh in 2017.

The six-match series will serve as a warm-up for the two touring sides ahead of next summer’s ICC Champions Trophy in England.

Ireland have 11 One-Day Internationals scheduled for the coming summer, with Sri Lanka and Pakistan visiting Malahide before fixtures in South Africa against the Proteas and Australia.

And now two games against Test-playing nations have been organised for next May.

The fixture against New Zealand will see Ireland coach John Bracewell come up against the country he represented in 41 Tests and was in charge of between 2003 and 2008.

He said: ““It should be a fantastic series and one which both myself and the squad will look forward to. We are now getting the volume of cricket that the team needs to take their cricket to the next level. We’re also getting series against the Full Members rather than one-off games which is great.

“We have ODI’s scheduled against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand over the next year at least. Those series will give us an excellent idea of where we at in terms of progression.

“With home advantage in at least 15 ODI’s in that period we’ll certainly have plenty of opportunities to test ourselves against quality opposition.”

The added fixtures were confirmed by Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom as he outlined Ireland's strategic five-year plan in Belfast.

He said: “Gone are the days – we hope – of being starved of the matches we deserve. Rather than getting 9 or 10 ODIs in the four years between World Cups, we aim to play at least that number annually.

“For years now, we have been asking for more matches to test our players, to raise the profile of our sport, to bring in new fans, and to attract more investment – but we’ve always struggled.

“Now the ICC’s new-look ODI table has changed that, and we have the chance to become the team that John Bracewell wishes to shape – one that stays together and tours, rather than prepares purely for one-off games or major events.”