Cricket

Irish cricket will have a permanent stadium on the Sport Ireland campus in Abbotstown – The Irish Times

Irish cricket’s wait for a permanent stadium is about to end after plans for an oval were included in the master plan for Sport Ireland’s Abbotstown campus unveiled on Thursday afternoon.

The imminent construction of a stadium should mean that there will be a facility before the 2030 T20 World Cup, when Ireland will share hosting duties with England and Scotland.

Cricket Ireland already has a performance center in Abbotstown which has grass practice facilities, although its introduction has taken longer than anticipated.

Talks have been ongoing between the governing body and the Government since 2018 on the construction of permanent infrastructure. The awarding of World Cup matches to Ireland, a decision taken last year, appears to have accelerated the development of a cricket stadium at the Sport Ireland complex.

The stadium will be located in the South Park of the complex next to the high performance center and an ‘athletics and cricket square’, the details of which, so far, are scarce. No timetable for the new developments has been set, but given the multi-year settlement period required for newly laid cricket grounds, construction should begin in the next few years before the 2030 World Cup-imposed deadline.

The capacity of the stadium is also unclear.

The Ireland men’s and women’s team currently play home games at club grounds in Dublin, Belfast and Derry with temporary stands installed depending on ticket demand. Last June, Malahide Cricket Club received just under 10,000 fans per match when the men’s team hosted India.

There are plans to continue using Malahide for certain international matches even after the new stadium is built, largely due to its popularity with fans given the ease of access from the city centre. There is talk of redevelopment of the Malahide pavilion to ensure international standard changing rooms and a media facility in order to reduce the cost of temporarily hiring such infrastructure.

On public transport links to Abbotstown, Sport Ireland said: “The Sport Ireland campus is currently mainly accessed by private car due to poor public transport connectivity. A key component of the master plan vision is to facilitate a paradigm shift away from the car and towards more sustainable modes of public transport.”

The significant announcement caps off a remarkable month for soccer in this country after the successful campaign of the men’s World Cup and the victory of the women’s series in Pakistan.

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