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Cricket: Irish to host Aussie A side

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ireland will host Australia's A side this summer after Cricket Ireland announced a four-day game at Stormont in Belfast starting June 14.

The match will give Aussie fringe players a chance to stake their claim and acclimatise to conditions before the Ashes series starts at Trent Bridge in England on July 10.

CI further said Belfast would host Ireland's final two World Cup qualifiers against Scotland on September 6 and 8.

Ireland currently lead the qualifiers, after four of seven rounds, with Scotland second.

The top-two nations earn a direct berth for the 2015 World Cup.

Ireland are already hosting Pakistan in Dublin in a two-match one-day international series in May before a one-off game against England in September.

"It's another incredibly important year for Irish cricket as we attempt to make it to the World Cup finals and also defend our ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers trophy in November," coach Phil Simmons said.

"It's fantastic that we've got the high-profile matches on home soil against Pakistan and England and we hope to get another series against Bangladesh in August as well."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130304/cricket-irish-host-aussie-side