Cricket Leinster and Middlesex Cricket are today delighted to release details of an historic first for Irish domestic cricket with the announcement of a Twenty20 Challenge Match between Leinster Lightning and Middlesex to take place in Dublin on Friday the 21st of June.
The game will be the first ever match between an Irish province and an English county in what is a major development for the Irish game. The venue will be Sydney Parade, the home of Pembroke Cricket Club, on the longest day of the year that will play host to the Twenty20 Challenge Match at 5.30pm on Friday 21st of June 2019.
For Middlesex the match in Dublin will serve as perfect preparation ahead of their Vitality T20 Blast campaign, whilst for Leinster Lightning it will serve as a major challenge ahead of the Cricket Ireland Interprovincial Twenty20 Festivals in 2019 in what is a major year for Irish cricket particularly in T20 cricket.
The Challenge Match between the two sides will be the showcase offering of the Cricket Leinster Centenary which is being celebrated with a number of events to mark the 100 years since the organisation was founded as the Leinster Cricket Union in 1919.
The Cairn Homes sponsored Leinster Lightning were triumphant in the Twenty20 format last year, as they sealed the title over a memorable festival weekend in 2018 at Sydney Parade and the hosts have a formidable record in the shortest format.
The Dublin match will also see the debut of Middlesex’s new Twenty20 kit, sponsored by the Irish company Kingspan for the first time. Middlesex has a new coach at the helm in the shape of Australian, Stuart Law and his side will be looking for a victory in Dublin to help springboard an extended run in Twenty20 cricket in 2019.
Cricket Leinster CEO, Philip Smith is particularly pleased to be able to bring Middlesex to Dublin:
“There’s no doubt that Middlesex are not only one of the premier counties in English cricket but an iconic side in global cricket, so for Cricket Leinster to be able to bring Middlesex to Dublin for their first ever match against Leinster Lightning is a fitting way to mark the Cricket Leinster Centenary year. I am certain that this will be a marquee occasion at Pembroke Cricket Club with a large crowd on a Friday evening being the perfect event for the longest day of the summer. We would like to thank Middlesex for accepting our invitation and we look forward to hosting them and furthering our closer ties in June.”
Leinster Lightning Head Coach, Albert van der Merwe thinks the match will be a great opportunity for his side:
“I am thrilled that Middlesex are coming to Dublin this summer, exposure to a higher quality of cricket can only be good for our players and hopefully this will be the first of further matches between the sides in the future. We look forward to welcoming Middlesex to Dublin and will be certain of giving them a strong challenge in preparation for both of our domestic T20 seasons.”
Middlesex Cricket CEO, Richard Goatley is delighted to be linking up with Cricket Leinster:
“As a club, we at Middlesex have had very close ties with Irish, particularly Leinster cricket over the last two decades with the likes of Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan, Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie all playing for us. Today we are elated to be furthering those links by announcing the Twenty20 Challenge Match between the Leinster Lightning and Middlesex on Friday 21st of June. We are looking forward to a good test on the pitch against some of the best cricketers from one of the world’s newest Test Nations.”
Middlesex Cricket’s Head Coach Stuart Law had this to say on today’s announcement:
“We are delighted to be travelling to Dublin at the height of the season to play Leinster Lightning for the first time. The match will serve as ideal preparation for the 2019 Vitality Blast for our squad which we are targeting a marked improvement on recent seasons.”
Tickets prices for the match and further details will be announced in the coming months with a bumper crowd expected for the historic clash on Friday June 21st.