Dublin [Ireland], March 14 (ANI): Ireland team will play two-match Test series in Galle against Sri Lanka in April, Ireland Cricket announced the rejigged schedule on Monday.
Sri Lanka’s desire to play more Test cricket has received a boost with the news that next month’s visit of Ireland will now include two Test matches.
The tour was recently scheduled to consist of one Test match and two ODIs, but both teams agreed to play a second Test encounter and skip the 50-over games.
Sri Lanka are currently in New Zealand for their two-match series against the Black Caps and on Monday had their faint hopes of reaching this year’s ICC World Test Championship final dashed when they fell to a thrilling final-over loss to the Kiwis.
While the visit of Ireland will not be a part of the World Test Championship, it will provide Sri Lanka with some excellent practice ahead of the next World Test Championship period.
The five-day matches will also be important for Ireland, who have played just three Test matches in total over the last six years.
Their next three will now come in the space of two months, with Ireland travelling to Sri Lanka for two Tests and then taking on England in a one-off Test at the start of June.
Both Test matches between Sri Lanka and Ireland will be held in Galle, with the first contest commencing on April 16 and the second from April 24.
“When we were approached by Sri Lanka Cricket about the possibility of a change to the schedule, our immediate thoughts were around our white-ball priority, given the potential 50-over World Cup qualification later this year still being a tangible outcome. Talking through our priorities and their priorities, we agreed to the late change given that the Test series is preceded by six white-ball matches in Bangladesh, and followed by three further ODIs after we return home,” Richard Holdsworth, High-Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said in an official statement released by Ireland Cricket.
“Exposing our playing group to an extended period in Asian conditions will be beneficial to their development and given the World Cup this year is in India, the more exposure to these conditions, the better – despite it being a different format,” Holdsworth added.
Ireland squad for the Sri Lanka tour: Andrew Balbirnie (capt), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Murray Commins, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Matthew Humphreys, Tom Mayes, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, PJ Moor, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker and Ben White.