Ireland to play ODIs against South Africa and Australia in 2016

John Bracewell’s side take on Proteas and world champions in Benoni in September

Ireland will play both South Africa and world champions Australia in One-Day International fixtures in 2016.

John Bracewell’s side will play the Proteas at Sahara Park in Benoni on Sunday September 25th before taking on Steve Smith’s touring Australians at the same venue on the 27th.

Bracewell has welcomed the announcement of the two games, he said: “It’s fantastic news for Irish cricket. These are exactly the type of fixtures Irish cricket needs to take the game to the next level. There are fewer tougher challenges than playing South Africa in their home conditions plus the number one ranked side in Australia.

“The players will all relish the challenge and allied with the home fixtures already confirmed against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we are seeing a much needed increase in the volume of top class cricket that we need.”

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom echoed Bracewell's sentiments and paid tribute to South Africa and Australia for accommodating them in their itinerary.

“Cricket Ireland is most grateful to Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia for giving us this opportunity. More matches, more regularly, against the best players, in overseas conditions are precisely what we need to make us more competitive on the world stage.

“The recent series played by Ireland and Afghanistan in Zimbabwe plus our ODIs against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2016, and now these matches, show that the 12-team ODI structure is beginning to bear fruit. Long may that continue.”