Ireland to host Afghanistan in one-day international series

Ireland players celebrate a victory over Afghanistan in December 2013
Ireland players celebrate a victory over Afghanistan in December 2013

Ireland are to host Afghanistan in a five-match one-day international series at Stormont in July.

The matches will take place at the Belfast venue on 10, 12, 14, 17 and 19 July, with Ireland coach John Bracewell expecting "fiercely competitive" games.

Ireland are also scheduled to host one-day fixtures against Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer.

Away one-day internationals against Australia and South Africa have been confirmed for September.

"We're certainly getting close to the amount and variety of fixtures we need to continue our international development," said head coach Bracewell.

"The more games we play in varying conditions the more we learn and grow as a cricketing nation. I expect the five-game series against Afghanistan will be tough and fiercely competitive.

"They had an excellent series win in both ODI's and Twenty20 against Zimbabwe last year, and continued that form in the World Twenty20 beating the eventual champions West Indies, which was a fantastic achievement for them and the Associate cricket cause.

"It'll be a new experience for the players to be involved in a five-game series but one which I'm certain they'll relish and thrive on."

The teams have played four one-day internationals to date, with Ireland winning three and Afghanistan one.

Their only one-day international meeting on Irish soil came in the World Cricket League Championship in 2012 which saw Ireland win by 59 runs thanks to a half century from Ed Joyce.