The Ireland cricket team are to play eight games in both Australia and New Zealand as part of a month long tour to aid their World Cup preparation.
The squad will depart on 23 September, playing four one-day matches in Australia before travelling to New Zealand on 11 October, where it will play four more one-day games in Hamilton and Christchurch.
“This tour is a great opportunity for the squad to acclimatise ahead of the competition," said Ireland coach Phil Simmons.
“We’re grateful to the ICC and in particular, Richard Done, for his help in making it possible. It’ll give us some much needed match practice in Antipodean conditions against a high standard of opposition.
“We aim to be as well prepared as possible in order to claim more headline wins against full members, and this tour is an important aspect in that preparation.
“The World Cup promises to be a fantastic occasion for Irish cricket and their fans. The squad can’t wait to play in a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. It's going to be a wonderful tournament and I know just how much everyone is looking forward to it.”
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth confirmed a squad of 18 will be taken on tour: “We're planning to take 18 players on the tour to give everyone a chance of staking their claim for a place in the final 15 World Cup squad.
“It's our intention to have the three players who don't make the cut on stand-by playing club cricket in Australia, so they too are fully acclimatised if we have any players injured during the event.
"The eight games will provide invaluable experience for the players. Queensland Bulls will be using the two matches against us to prepare for their 50 over domestic competition, while the games against the Comets/NSW 2nd XI will feature players trying to force their way into the first team set-up.The fixtures in New Zealand see us playing first-class sides Northern Districts, Canterbury, and Otago as well as a game against a New Zealand XI."
The tour has been made possible as part of the ICC’s High Performance Programme (HPP), and during the tour, Ireland will also be able to call on a number of specialist coaches and former players from both countries, to support their training and planning sessions.
30 September: Ireland v Queensland Bulls, Kerrydale Oval, Gold Coast
2 October: Ireland v Queensland Bulls, Redlands Oval, Brisbane
7 October: Ireland v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
9 October: Ireland v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
16 October: Ireland v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 October: Ireland v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21 October: Ireland v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23 October: Ireland v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln