Ed Joyce, Laura Delany excited at the prospect of returning to international cricket with Scotland series

Gaby Lewis (L) and Laura Delany. © Cricket Ireland

Ireland are set to return to international cricket as they host Scotland for a four-match T20I series at Stormont in Belfast from May 23, Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland announced on Tuesday (May 4).

Head coach Ed Joyce and skipper Laura Delany expressed their delight in getting to return to international cricket after a host of their fixtures were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that were in place owing to the global pandemic. Ireland last played international cricket during the T20 Qualifier in Scotland in September 2019. Their series against Scotland in Spain in November last year was the last to be cancelled. Ireland players are currently playing in their domestic competition Super Series.

“The Scots will be a good challenge, and ICC ranking points will be on the line, so we’re very much gearing up for a competitive series. It will also be fantastic to see the Ireland Women’s international team play at Stormont for the first time since 1997,” Joyce said.

Former Ireland and England men’s cricketer Joyce added that they are hopeful of having more fixtures before T20 World Cup Qualifer as well as Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

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“It goes without saying that we’re pleased to see this series given the green light – with a T20 World Cup Qualifier set for August and a 50-over World Cup Qualifier in December, we need to play as much competitive cricket this year as we can,” he said.

“The players application and attitude over the last frustrating 18-20 months has been amazing, so this series is a welcome relief to the group. In addition, we’re also hopeful of having a full and varied fixture list for the team before both sets of qualifiers later this year.”

Laura Delany, who is currently leading Typhoons in the Super Series, also expressed in happiness in being able to return to international cricket after a long gap and said the hard work they have put in will be on test when they return to international cricket and game time is important for them to assess themselves.

“Despite the disappointments of 2020, I know the squad are looking forward to the Scotland series with great anticipation and hopefully this is the first of a good block of fixtures in the lead up to the qualifiers,” Delany said.

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“I’m absolutely delighted at the prospect of wearing the Irish shirt again. It’s been some time since we’ve played an international game so we’re definitely looking forward to getting back out there. We have worked hard over the winter period, now we need games to assess where we are at.”

Fixtures: 

1st T20I May 23
2nd T20I May 24
3rd T20I May 26
4th T20I May 27