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Ireland skipper Laura Delany excited for future visit of England

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Laura Delany looking forward to the new World Championship

Laura Delany looking forward to the new World Championship

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Laura Delany looking forward to the new World Championship

Ireland will host England and Australia in three-match 50-over series as part of the new expanded ICC Women’s Championship.

Each of the 10 leading teams will play eight others – four at home and four away – over the next four years and Ireland have been given the glamour games against their nearest rivals and the world champions at home.

The other home series will be against South Africa – their first opponents next month – and Sri Lanka, with trips to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and West indies.

The top five at the end of the four-year cycle plus the still unannounced hosts will get direct entry to the 2025 World Cup with the other two places to be determined by a global qualifier.

Giving her reaction to the confirmed championship schedule, captain Laura Delany said: “It will be tough but it’s a challenge that we welcome.

“As a team we haven’t had an opportunity to go to those countries over the last few years due to Covid. We’re a young side and with three away series in the sub-continent, those conditions will definitely be different to playing in the likes of England or here, so it’s something we’re looking forward to.

“It will be a great learning opportunity and we can’t wait to play against those top quality sides.”

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Delany is one of several experienced players, however, who will miss next month’s series against South Africa, through injury, forcing Cricket Ireland to name five uncapped players in the 14-woman squad.

Opening bowler Orla Prendergast is also on the injured list, along with Rebecca Stokell and Hannah Little while others, including Instonians’ Amy Hunter are doing exams.

New Zealand-born Irish passport-holder Arlene Kelly, who has already starred for the Dragons in the Super Series is certain to play and among the other possible debutants is Bready’s Alana Dalzell. Gaby Lewis will debutise as captain for the series, so follows her father Alan as the first father/child Ireland captains.

There are three T20 games at Pembroke on June 3, 6 and 8 (all starting at 4.30pm) followed by the Women’s Championship clashes at Clontarf on June 11, 14 and 17 (10.45am starts).

Ireland squad v South Africa: G Lewis (capt), A Dalzell, R Delaney, G Dempsey, S Forbes, S Kavanagh, A Kelly, S McMahon, J Maguire, K McEvoy, C Murray, L Paul, C Raack, M Waldron.

Tonight - LVS T20 Cup (6.00): Civil Service North v Cliftonville Academy, CIYMS v Woodvale.
White Horse Hotel T20 Cup (6.30): Coleraine v Ardmore


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