ICC signs host deal

The tournament, to be centred around Belfast and Dublin in July of next year, will be hosted by the Irish Cricket Union (ICU).

Following the official signing of the host agreement, ICC president Ehsan Mani and chief executive Malcolm Speed toured both cities and received an update on preparations.

Said Mani: “This tournament will leave a positive legacy for cricket in Ireland as it will raise the profile of the game and assist in the development of better facilities for practicing, playing and watching the sport.”

The ICC Trophy is part of an international tournament structure that provides a pathway to the elite level of competition for almost all of the ICC’s 89 member countries. This begins with regional tournaments taking place throughout 2004 and will climax with the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.

Five places at the next Cricket World Cup will be up for grabs at the event.

The last ICC Trophy was held in Canada in 2001 with Holland emerging victorious in a tense final against Namibia.