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Joyce and Stirling lay down gauntlet to England

Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling marked two months exactly to the one-day international between Ireland and England at Malahide.

Former England limited-overs international Joyce, who now represents Ireland and captains Sussex, is relishing the opportunity to take on England as Ireland attempt to claim yet another famous scalp.

Speaking at Lord’s today, the 34-year-old left-hander said: "Irish cricket's big game in 2013 is against England and, after a couple of near misses against Pakistan in May, the whole squad is keen to make amends against England in September.

"I can't wait to play against England in front of what is set to be the biggest crowd ever seen at a cricket match in Ireland at our new ODI venue in Malahide; there's talk of Malahide becoming a fortress for Irish cricket and we're looking forward to the first visitors to Fortress Malahide being England."

"It should be a magnificent occasion and it'd be a great achievement if we can get another famous victory against one of the world's best teams."

The match is on course to be a sell-out and Stirling, who is currently an Ireland-record eighth in the ODI batting rankings, urged fans not to miss out on the chance to see some of the top stars in world cricket in action.

"It's fantastic that there's been so much interest already in the fixture, and it's bound to be a really special atmosphere,” he said. “Games between Ireland and England in any sport have that extra edge, and that's certainly the case when we play them on the cricket field.

"There's no doubt they're still hurting after we pulled off the greatest upset in World Cup history thanks to Kevin O'Brien's record-breaking hundred. The team has obviously great memories of that never to be forgotten night in Bangalore but we're keen to create new ones now.

"We've come close to beating them twice in Ireland as well as that win in India. We lost by just a few runs in Belfast and Dublin, so we want to get a win on home soil. With England being the first international visitors to Fortress Malahide, we're laying down the challenge to them for September 3rd."

Stirling is also looking forward to the prospect of facing his Middlesex colleague Eoin Morgan.

"With players of the calibre of Eoin Morgan, Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen in the England ranks, it's sure to be a tough challenge but a great treat for the fans," he added.

The game at Malahide looks certain to be the highest attendance at a cricket match in Ireland, and Cricket Ireland has put together an attractive package for England fans wishing to attend the game and come and experience the legendary Irish hospitality in Dublin.

For just £159 per person sharing, fans can stay for two nights at the four-star Bewley's Hotel at Ballsbridge with return airport transfers by luxury coach, and a ticket for the game in the England section.

Further details can be found by e mailing or telephone 00353 1 8947914.
Tickets for the match can be purchased via Ticketmaster - and the Cricket Ireland website

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