Cricket Ireland have confirmed the interpro schedule for the 2019 season, with Leinster Lightning defending the Cup and Trophy, while the Warriors will be hoping to retain the Championship.

The third and final T20 Festival, proposed to be held at La Manga has been scrapped as a consequence of the European T20 league, but the Spanish resort will play host to the opening games in the tournament, with 50-over matches from April 22-25.

As had been earlier reported here, Pembroke and Bready will host T20 weekends in June and August.

The Warriors begin their defence of the three-day crown at North Down in May, while they host Lightning at Bready on June 17th.

It promises to be an exciting year, as Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth pointed out.

“For the fans, this year will also be particularly exciting as we will see returning Irish internationals’ Gary Wilson, Boyd Rankin and Barry McCarthy featuring in the competition on a regular basis. In fact, 80% of the current men’s international squad in India at present will appear in the Inter-Pros in 2019."

Plans to expand the competition are in the pipeline, with Holdsworth outlining the intention for an additional side next year.

“The evolution of the competition is set to increase further in 2020 and beyond as we hope to introduce a fourth side in the Championship and Cup, and look to increase Championship matches from three-day to four-day matches in time.

"The intention of these improvements is to ensure the gap between domestic and international cricket is narrowed, and the step up for new players is less pronounced."