The Irish Cricket Union this morning received confirmation that the three-match India-South Africa series, scheduled for Stormont at the end of the month, is back on.
It was reported from India last night that Nimbus had secured the television rights for the three one-day internationals at Stormont on June 26, 29 and July 1 and today the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) contacted the host union to confirm the series will go ahead as scheduled. Ireland will also play an ODI against both India and South Africa as warm-up games for the series, almost certainly on the weekend of June 23 and June 24.
The ICU's office bearers were meeting this morning to review the costing of the match as sales were suspended for more than 60 hours, following Zee Television's decision to renege on their four-year television deal with the BCCI.
But the BCCI immediately had discussions with three other broadcasters and Nimbus are now on board in a $24million package which also includes the one-off India-Pakistan game in Glasgow on July 3.
ICU chief executive Warren Deutrom said this morning: "I would urge the Irish cricket community to come out and support this venture because it will raise Ireland's profile on the world stage and it also offers Ireland valuable playing opportunities."
First, Ireland have two Friends Provident Trophy games, against Middlesex and Glamorgan, to complete their county campaign and the squad will be chosen tonight at the first formal selection meeting of the Phil Simmons era.
So far the National Coach and the captain, Trent Johnston, have picked the 11 for the first six games of the season after Matt Dwyer and Ian Johnston both resigned as selectors. They have now been replaced by Brian McNeice and Ross McCollum and along with William Wilson will sit down tonight to pick a 13-man squad for the games in Dublin on June 10 and at Stormont on June 13.
If they are serious about at least matching last year's solitary victory in the competition, not too much time should be spent discussing whether to select a second overseas player to replace Jesse Ryder and with an offer from Nathan Astle on the table, the former New Zealander international batsman should be easy to deal with.
That leaves 11 home-based players to complete the squad and with Johnston, Kyle McCallan, William Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien, Peter Gillespie, Andrew White and Dave Langford-Smith all certainties, expected to be joined by Thinnus Fourie, Roger Whelan and Gary Wilson, that leaves the final choice between Jeremy Bray and Kenny Carroll.
Normally, it would be a no contest but Bray, who would have been 13th man for the abandoned game against Sussex on Monday, has indicated he is prepared to give up his place in the last two FP games and Carroll, who has played only four of Ireland's 21 capped matches this year, in spite of being in the squad for all of them, is likely to be given his chance.