Next May, Malahide will once again be the centre of attention for the cricket-loving people of the nation when Ireland take on England in a one-day international that is set to be as charged and thrilling as the last time the adversaries last met at the venue in 2013.
The match, set to take place on May 8, 2015, was announced this week by Ireland players and coach Phil Simmons at Malahide Castle, and their desire to overturn memories of their previous encounter with the world’s number 5 side in one day international rankings.
Speaking at the announcement of the fixture, bowler Tim Murtagh said: “There was undoubtedly a feeling in the camp that we missed out on a great opportunity to record another famous win. They were definitely reeling, and there was such an incredible atmosphere with the 10,000 capacity crowd roaring us on.”
In last year’s match, and chasing a target of 270, Murtagh took 3 for 33 to reduce the visitors to 48 for 4 before unbeaten centuries from Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara led England to an eventual six-wicket win.
“Unfortunately the pitch settled down and once the shine went off the new ball, batting became a lot easier. It was my best bowling display in an Irish shirt but it was deflating that we couldn’t seal the win,” said Murtagh.
While the forthcoming World Cup campaign is foremost in coach Simmons’ thoughts, he admits that the squad always relish a clash with their neighbours across the Irish Sea.
“Ireland against England in any sport is always a hard-fought battle and the clash on May 8 will be no different. There’s something in the Irish psyche that always motivates them against England.
“The fixture certainly captivated the imagination of the Irish public the last time with the record crowd of ten thousand which contributed to such a magnificent occasion. With the glorious weather and the enthusiasm of the crowd it was more reminiscent of a West Indian match than an Irish one.”
Simmons now resides in Malahide, and is all too aware of just how much it means to the picturesque North Dublin village to be hosting such a high profile international fixture.
“It gave the village and all the surrounding areas a very welcome boost. I know there are big plans once again surrounding the match and I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful must-see occasion.”
Tickets are available now through the Cricket Ireland website, www.cricketireland.ie.