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Extra round of one-day games gets go-ahead for La Manga


Irish first: Gary Wilson set to be captain for their Oman visit
Irish first: Gary Wilson set to be captain for their Oman visit

By Ian Callender

An expanded inter-provincial season will start in La Manga, Spain next April.

The Cricket Ireland board gave the go-ahead this week for an extra round of one-day (50-over) games and, if required, a Twenty20 festival in September, although that will not be confirmed until February.

There will be no change to the format for 2019 with the three teams (Northern Knights, North West Warriors and Leinster Lightning) playing each other home and away in the three-day Championship and now three-times in the One-day Cup.

Munster Reds will continue in the T20 Trophy only but Cricket Ireland are hoping to add a fourth team to the Championship and Cup in 2020.

The intention is to play the T20 competition as festival weekends, dispensing with the Friday night fixtures which have proven so unpopular with players, with a final (or extra) round in La Manga ahead of the T20 World Cup qualifiers in October/November.

It has also been confirmed that Ireland will become the first Full Member nation to play in Oman.

The 2019 fixture list will start with a T20 quadrangular tournament in Muscat on February 13, 15 and 17 with two matches each day.

Ireland begin with a game against the hosts - who are ranked one place higher than Gary Wilson's side - followed by Scotland and the Netherlands.

The Irish team will have two warm-up matches against an Oman Development XI on February 9 and 10.

The squad will fly to India on February 18 for a nine-match series against Afghanistan, starting with a three-match T20 series.

The CI board have also left the door open for a Northern Ireland side to compete in a Women's T20 competition which joins the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham - although more likely they will wait until the following Games in 2026 before entering.

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