The top Associate and Affiliate teams have a busy month coming up with Afghanistan, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Scotland and Uganda all in action.

The highlights of the month will possibly come during two ODIs towards the end of the month when Ireland takes on England in Belfast on 27 August and Scotland welcomes Australia to Edinburgh a day later.

This will be the second time Ireland will have played its nearest Full Member neighbour in an official ODI. In 2006, Marcus Trescothick scored 113 and Ian Bell 80 as the Andrew Strauss-led England beat the home team in a close match at the picturesque Stormont ground, the same venue for this year's showdown.

The last time Scotland came face-to-face with Australia in an ODI was during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 when Ricky Ponting scored 113 and Glenn McGrath took 3-14 as the champion won convincingly in St Kitts.

'As the top Associate and Affiliate teams develop and improve it is important that they are constantly challenged,' said ICC High Performance Manager Richard Done.

'These ODIs against Full Members are part of that process and I know Ireland and Scotland will gain a lot from those games. The ICC is committed to ensuring that all our Members enjoy meaningful competition and the expansion of the ICC Intercontinental Cup into a second division gives more teams the chance to play competitive cricket against similarly ranked teams regardless of their location in the world,' said Mr Done.

Also in August, Zimbabwe XI and Afghanistan will make their ICC Intercontinental Cup debuts as the Africans host the surprise package of the past 18 months in a four-day game at Mutare. The Afghans will then move on to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands conquerors of England on the opening night of the ICC World Twenty20 in June in another ICC Intercontinental Cup match and two ODIs.

In other interesting match-ups, Ireland and Scotland continue their 121-year rivalry as these fierce competitors clash in Aberdeen for an ICC Intercontinental Cup match followed by two ODIs. Ireland has had the better of recent exchanges between the two teams, both in the four-day and one-day formats, so Gavin Hamilton and his men will be keen to set the record straight against the defending ICC Intercontinental Cup champion.

Canada will host Kenya for an ICC Intercontinental Cup match followed by a three-ODI series in King City while Uganda will travel to Bermuda for an ICC Intercontinental Shield match, two 50-over matches and a Twenty20 match in the National Stadium, Hamilton.

'August is going to be a hectic time for our top Associate and Affiliate teams and it is an exciting opportunity for them,' said Mr Done. 'We have seen great progress in recent times and fixtures such as these will keep them moving in the right direction.'

Upcoming fixtures:
  • 14-17 August: Canada v Kenya (ICC Intercontinental Cup), King City, Ontario
  • 16-19 August: Zimbabwe XI v Afghanistan (ICC Intercontinental Cup), Mutare
  • 17-20 August: Scotland v Ireland (ICC Intercontinental Cup), Aberdeen
  • 17-20 August: Bermuda v Uganda (ICC Intercontinental Shield), Hamilton
  • 19 August: Canada v Kenya (ODI), King City, Ontario
  • 21 August: Canada v Kenya (ODI), King City, Ontario
  • 22 August: Scotland v Ireland (ODI), Aberdeen
  • 22 August: Bermuda v Uganda (50-over match), Hamilton
  • 23 August: Canada v Kenya (ODI), King City, Ontario
  • 23 August: Scotland v Ireland (ODI), Aberdeen
  • 23 August: Bermuda v Uganda (50-over match), Hamilton
  • 24 August: Bermuda v Uganda (Twenty20), Hamilton
  • 24-27 August: Netherlands v Afghanistan (ICC Intercontinental Cup), VRA Amsterdam
  • 27 August: Ireland v England (ODI), Belfast
  • 28 August: Scotland v Australia (ODI), Edinburgh
  • 30 August: Netherlands v Afghanistan (ODI), VRA Amsterdam
  • 1 September: Netherlands v Afghanistan (ODI), VRA Amsterdam