Cricket chiefs in Ireland are targeting the development of a permanent venue after the country was named as co-hosts of the 2030 ICC T20 World Cup.
Talks have been held between Cricket Ireland and the authorities for three years with a view to the construction of a dedicated facility at the National Sport Campus in Abbotstown. The National Development Plan 2021-2030 (NDP) published last month by the Government referenced a new velodrome and badminton centre at Abbotstown, but while “other projects” were mentioned there was no confirmation about the possibility of a cricket venue being constructed.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said that the case for the development of a dedicated stadium has only been strengthened by the prospect of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup along with England and Scotland. At present Ireland is a preferred co-host of the event with the ECB and Cricket Scotland, and ICC officials will expect progress to be made in terms of venues and training facilities in the coming years.
Deutrom added in a statement: “We appreciate that there are still a number of details to clarify around hosting arrangements, not just for the co-hosts but also to enable our Government partners to move beyond in-principle support, but today’s announcement gives a greenlight for those discussions to begin in earnest.
“We believe the enormous global exposure of one of world’s major sporting events will provide a huge boost for not just the sport on this island, but also the country through local economic impact and visibility in major tourism and economic markets.”
In 2021, Ireland has played home matches at Dublin’s Malahide (pictured), Clontarf and at two venues in Northern Ireland. Malahide has a capacity of 11,500 and received approval from the ICC to host international matches in 2013.
Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers said: “Ultimately, the ambition of constructing an oval at the National Sports Campus remains, but hosting [World Cup] matches is not dependent on that, and Test matches have been hosted here before in Malahide.
“But I would be hopeful we will have substantially advanced the oval by 2030 and laying down the surface, which takes a number of years to settle, would be the first step.”