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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Potential IPL contracts must be motivation to beat India in T20s, says Ireland coach

Graham Ford excited as BCCI agrees to play two matches in Ireland ahead of England tour in June

Ireland bastmen William Porterfield, right, and Paul Stirling could up against India in June. Nezar Balout / AFP
Ireland bastmen William Porterfield, right, and Paul Stirling could up against India in June. Nezar Balout / AFP

Ireland will play 2007 World Twenty20 champions India in two T20 internationals in Dublin in June, Cricket Ireland announced on Wednesday.

Both games will be played in the Dublin suburb of Malahide, with the first encounter scheduled for Wednesday, June 27 and the second match two days later on Friday, June 29.

It will be the first time that the sides have met on Irish soil since they played an ODI in Belfast back in 2007.

The games will be the first T20 internationals for Ireland coach Graham Ford, and the South African is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against such high-profile opposition.

"It's fantastic news for the lads and fans alike," said Ford, who only took the reins of the Irish side last month.

"The matches will of course be a huge challenge for the team, but what an opportunity for everyone to showcase their talents in front of a huge audience, both at the games and live on television," the 57-year-old former South Africa assistant coach added.

Ford, who has also coached Sri Lanka, said there was a potentially rich reward awaiting anyone who impressed.

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"I'm sure the players will respond positively to the occasion with the added incentive of knowing eye-catching displays could result in a possible IPL [Indian Premier League T20 competition] contract," Ford said.

"We haven't played our best cricket in the format in recent years which is reflected in the rankings, but what better time to start climbing the ladder again.

"We have a number of players ideally suited to the short-form and on home soil it's a great opportunity to cause a shock or two," Ford added.