Ireland to face Afghanistan in nine-game series in northern India in March

Najibullah Zadran attempts to avoid being run-out by Ireland's Peter Chase in last Tuesday's game at Stormont
The sides drew 2-2 in a one-day series in Belfast earlier this month

Ireland will face Afghanistan in a nine-match series in India next March which will include a four-day Intercontinental Cup game.

The teams will also play five one-day games and three Twenty20 encounters in the north Indian city of Greater Noida.

The announcement follows the one-day series at Stormont earlier this month which ended in a 2-2 draw.

"The series will be a great opportunity for the squad to test themselves," said Ireland coach John Bracewell.

"Games between the sides are always competitive and I expect more of the same in this series.

"I'm sure the younger players in particular will benefit from playing in sub-continental conditions and it will enrich their cricketing experience."

Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth also welcomed the fixtures announcement.

"This tour is exactly what we have been pushing for in recent times, where the national team plays across all three formats over a four to five week period, just like the full members have been doing for years," said Holdsworth.

"Both sides are aspiring to become Test countries and to organise bilateral tours on a regular basis in series with context rather than focusing mainly on tournament cricket.

"These matches will not only be part of the pathway to Test cricket for both countries, but also part of the World Cup qualification pathway."

Afghanistan play all their home games in the northern Indian venue after moving from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Afghanistan v Ireland fixtures - all Greater Noida Stadium

T20s

8 March

10 March

12 March

ODIs

15 March

17 March

19 March

22 March

24 March

ICC Intercontinental Cup

Fifth Round: 28-31 March

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