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Stormont to miss out on showpiece action next summer

By Ian Callender

Ireland's biggest games next summer, against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, will all be played in Malahide.

The Cricket Ireland Board yesterday accepted the Grounds Committee recommendation that the four one-day internationals be played at the venue which now accommodates the biggest crowd - but Stormont has not been left out of the big match action.

The Belfast venue will host Ireland's first ever five-match ODI series, against main Associate rivals Afghanistan in July, and the Intercontinental Cup game against Hong Kong in September.

Ireland meet Sri Lanka on June 16 and 18 with the Pakistan games on August 18 and 20.

The exact date of the Papua New Guinea game has still to be confirmed but Afghanistan will play at Stormont on July 10, 12, 14, 17 and 19.

Meanwhile, the draw for the first round of the Irish Cup was made yesterday with three of the biggest games taking place in the NCU.

Holders Waringstown were drawn at home to Bready, Instonians will welcome the Leinster Union double winners Clontarf to Shaw's Bridge while North Down, last season's Premier League runners-up, will host Leinster Senior Cup finalists YMCA.

In the North West, league champions Coleraine were also given a home draw, against Irish Cup specialists Merrion.

Irish Cup first round: Instonians v Clontarf, North Down v YMCA, Muckamore v Eglinton, Waringstown v Bready, Strabane v Malahide, Coleraine v Merrion, Drummond v Carrickfergus, Brigade v CIYMS, Donemana v Derriaghy, The Hills v Civil Service North, Pembroke v Lisburn, Leinster v Fox Lodge, North County v Ardmore, Phoenix v St Johnston, Cork County v Railway Union.

Bye: Co Galway.

Games to be played on Saturday May 7.

National Cup first round: Cliftonville v Sion Mills, Academy v Newbuildings, Bangor v Dundrum (Leinster), Armagh v Terenure, Glendermott v Lurgan, Burndennett v Woodvale, Ballyspallen v Greystones, Creevedonnell v Civil Service, Balbriggan v Killycooney, North Kildare v Bonds Glen, Laois v Saintfield, Rush v Downpatrick.

Games on May 7.

Belfast Telegraph


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