Irelands men's cricket side, led by Captain Andy Balbirnie, will be back action in January 2021 in a series of one day internationals against the UAE and Afghanistan which will take place in Abu Dabhi. 

Ireland will face the UAE in four games on the 8th, 10th 12th and 14th of January and will then face Afghanistan on the 18th, 21st and 23rd of the month 

It will be Ireland Men's first internationals since their dramatic victory over the World Champions England back in early August and the three matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League (WCSL) which serve a part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process and which features 13 countries including Ireland

Ireland have 10 points in the league after their 2-1 series defeat to England in the summer in the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

A 16 strong squad has been announced by cricket Ireland for the seven games and additionally, several players and support staff, who are not on the tour, will remain at home under Covid-19 safe conditions in case a substitute needs to be flown out to Abu Dhabi during next month. 

Veteran wicket keeper Gary Wilson will not join the squad in order to be at home for the birth of his second child, with Neil Rock coming in as wicket-keeping cover.

Ordinarily, Wilson would likely have been able to re-join the squad after the birth, however this is not possible under the Covid-19 protocols in place for the series without an extended period of self-isolation, so it was agreed that this would rule him out on this occasion. 

"It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year, but the lads have acquitted themselves well and can be proud of what they have managed to achieve." said Ireland Head Coach Graham Ford 

 "We’ve beaten the T20 World Champions, the West Indies, in a T20I in the Caribbean, beaten Afghanistan for the first time in a T20I in the subcontinent, and beaten the current World Cup champions England in their own backyard - those wins have helped build self-belief within the players and have demonstrated the progress we are making as a squad." 

 "We have two challenging series ahead of us, but we’re looking to create a sense of momentum going into a big year - a year that will feature multiple tours, a full home season and a T20 World Cup at the back end." 

The tour will also be the first since Stuart Barnes, the new Assistant Head Coach and National Bowling Lead, joined the support staff. 

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, David Delany, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.