Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

England clash can be just the ticket for fans: Simmons

Out to deliver: Phil Simmons wants a home win over England
Out to deliver: Phil Simmons wants a home win over England

Tickets went on sale yesterday for Ireland's first one-day international AFTER next year's World Cup, the visit of England to Malahide on Thursday May 8, and National Coach Phil Simmons has promised fans a "day to remember".

It is will be England's fifth trip across the Irish Sea in nine years and although Ireland are still waiting on a first win on home soil against their Test neighbours, there have been enough near misses to suggest the day is getting closer.

And with none of the Test match squad likely to be on duty next May – the game comes just three days after England's final Test in the West Indies – Ireland may never have a better chance of following up their famous World Cup victory over Andrew Strauss's side in 2011.

"It's always a fantastic occasion when Ireland play England in any sport, and last year in Malahide, in front of 10,000 people, the biggest crowd ever to watch a cricket match in Ireland, was extra special," said Simmons.

"It was a day we'll never forget and I know just how much the tremendous Irish support meant to all the squad. We didn't get the result that day, but with the backing of another sell-out crowd, we'll do our best to give the fans a day to remember."

Indeed, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom's aim is to try and top last year's experience.

"We're determined to make this a genuine must-see event for any sports fan.

"After last year's inaugural ODI at Malahide, many people – fans, club members, VIPs, hospitality guests, even senior ICC staff – told us it was one of the best sporting events, let alone cricket matches, they had ever attended," said Deutrom.

Ireland are sure to be at full strength with their likely World Cup side in action for the first time after their return from Australia and New Zealand.

Tickets are priced at €45 (£36 at current exchange), €38 (£30.50) for senior citizens and €15 (£12) for Under 16s, with discounts available for clubs and large groups. They are now available through Ticketmaster and on line at www.ticketmaster.ie and www.cricketireland.ie

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