Ireland to tour Australia and New Zealand as World Cup preparation

Ireland coach Phil Simmons played in the World Cup for West Indies
Ireland coach Phil Simmons played World Cup cricket for the West Indies

Ireland are to play eight games in Australia and New Zealand this autumn as part of their preparations for the 2015 World Cup down under.

A 30 September clash against Queensland Bulls on the Gold Coast is the first of four matches in Australia.

The Irish take on Northern Districts in Hamilton in their opening game in New Zealand on 16 October.

"This is a great opportunity to acclimatise ahead of the competition," said Ireland coach Phil Simmons.

Australia and New Zealand will host the tournament in February and March next year.

Ireland, who will be making their third World Cup appearance, are in Pool B with Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies and United Arab Emirates.

Ireland fixtures
30 September: v Queensland Bulls, Kerrydale Oval, Gold Coast
2 October: v Queensland Bulls, Redlands Oval, Brisbane
7 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
9 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
16 October: v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 October: v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21 October: v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23 October: v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

Simmons added: "It'll give us some much-needed match practice in Antipodean conditions against a high standard of opposition.

"We aim to be as well prepared as possible in order to claim more headline wins against full members and this tour is an important aspect in that preparation.

"The World Cup promises to be a fantastic occasion for Irish cricket and their fans. The squad can't wait to play in a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"It's going to be a wonderful tournament and I know just how much everyone is looking forward to it."