Ireland, Lanka to cross swords in Scotland

Mumbai: Ireland, the country to make the maximum impact from among International Cricket Council`s associate nations in the World Cup, have something to look forward to after the mega event as they are scheduled to play 1996 champions Sri Lanka and hosts Scotland in a triangular ODI series in July.

Ireland and Lanka have been invited to take part in the tri-series with Scotland at the Citylets Grange in Edinburgh, a media release from the Irish cricket board said.

Ireland take on Lanka on July 11 and Scotland the following day while the hosts play Lanka on July 13.

The tournament gives Ireland another chance to boost its growing international reputation following a series of excellent performances at the World Cup and the team`s coach, former West Indies opener, Phil Simmons was delighted at getting the news.

"This is a great boost to us to face a side of the quality of Sri Lanka. They have proved already that they are one of the best sides in the world and they are just the sort of opponent we need," he said.

Simmons also pointed out the importance of playing more ODIs in between two World Cup tournaments.

"Ireland need to play more one day internationals between World Cups to give us the experience we need to perform and excel at these tournaments. A game against Sri Lanka, who are ranked third in the ICC Rankings, is just the sort of fixture we are crying out for," he said.

"With players like Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakeratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga, they will provide us with just the stiff challenge we need," he added.

Ireland last faced Sri Lanka in a thrilling ICC World Twenty20 at Lord`s in 2009. Alex Cusack bowled one of the best spells of the whole tournament to take 4-18 and restrict Sri Lanka to 144-9, but they fell short of the target by 9 runs.

Ireland are also scheduled to play against England in a ODI in Dublin on August 25 and the latter would be keen to avenge their shock World Cup defeat in Bangalore on March 2.


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