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Irish supporters will get their first taste of international Twenty20 cricket later this month

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jul 2012 15:34 | Comments

Phil Simmons: 'We've a number of players ideally suited to the short form of the game, and it should be a great spectacle.'
Phil Simmons: 'We've a number of players ideally suited to the short form of the game, and it should be a great spectacle.'

Irish supporters will get their first taste of international Twenty20 cricket against a Test nation on home soil when Ireland take on Bangladesh in a three match series at Stormont on 18, 20 and 21 July.

It will also bring early-evening International Cricket to Ireland for the first time, with the start times being tailored to the work crowd on Wednesday and Friday night at 5pm and 4pm on Saturday.

For Ireland coach Phil Simmons it's a chance to get some game preparation ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

Simmons said: "We as a country need to play more international matches in this format, although our county-contracted players do in England.

"We've a number of players ideally suited to the short form of the game, and it should be a great spectacle for the fans who come along.

"There are still a few slots up for grabs and it's an ideal opportunity for the players to make a case for themselves to be included in the World T20 squad."

Ireland vice-captain Kevin O'Brien is one player who relishes Twenty20 competition and played a starring role the only time the two teams previously met in this form of the game.

O'Brien admitted: "I've happy memories of our World T20 win against them at Trent Bridge in 2009. I hit the winning boundary when myself and Niall (O’Brien) got runs.

"We're currently ninth in the world rankings and a series win would help us in our quest to get extra points to get up the ICC Rankings.

"We've just beaten Afghanistan and we'll be looking to keep that winning momentum going. I'm sure the Irish public will flock to what is always a great evening out.

"I’ve been experiencing the big crowds down at Taunton during the T20 season there in England and I’m hoping we can replicate some of that fun atmosphere in Belfast this month."

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