Ireland skipper Paul Stirling looks forward for first series win in Zimbabwe

In January this year, Ireland Men and their Zimbabwe counterparts drew 1-1 in a three-match T20 Internationals (T20I) series in Harare

By Press Release

Updated - 07 Dec 2023, 09:24 IST

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HARARE, Zimbabwe - Ireland Men are set to end the year in a similar fashion to the way it started, with a tour to Zimbabwe to take on the African side in a six-match multi-format white-ball series.

The tour is effectively part of Ireland Men’s official build-up to the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (being held in June 2024 in the Caribbean and USA). While the Irish side missed out on the recent 50-over Cricket World Cup, it acquitted itself well at the 2022 T20 World Cup where they made it through to the Super 12 stage of the competition, beating eventual winners England along the way. 

In January this year, Ireland Men and their Zimbabwe counterparts drew 1-1 in a three-match T20 Internationals (T20I) series in Harare, while the hosts won the One Day International (ODI) series 2-1.


  • Harare Sports Club is the venue for all six matches on this tour - three T20Is followed by three ODIs.
  • The opening match of the T20I series, on 7 December, will be a historic occasion for the hosts, as it will be the first ever Day/Night match held at the venue after floodlighting was recently installed.
  • The sides are evenly matched on paper across both white-ball formats – both have six wins and six defeats from 12 T20Is meetings, while they’ve also met in 19 ODIs with Ireland successful in eight matches, along with one tie. 
  • The series will be Paul Stirling’s first series as Ireland’s permanent white-ball captain after being confirmed in the role last month.

While Ireland is coming into the series looking for a positive result to round out the year and begin their T20 World Cup build-up on the front foot, hosts Zimbabwe are coming into the series off the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup last month at the African Qualifier in Windhoek. 

Ireland captain Paul Stirling was speaking on the eve of the series.

About the contest:

Yeah, it's always been fairly even. I don't think there's too many series played between the two teams in Zimbabwe, where it's not either 2-1 or a 1-1 draw with a bit of rain. I think it's a really important series for us because we want to get back to winning ways. We will hopefully target getting our first series win on these shores to start with, and every game is really important. So yeah, it’s a big series for us.” 

About Ireland’s current place: 

It's been quite a long time since we've been in Zimbabwe for the qualifiers and missed out and didn't have our best time. I think in both formats it is a bit of a fresh start for our players and sort of a building phase for us. We've got a T20 World Cup coming soon in the Caribbean and the USA. So that's the start of our process in the T20, and then again in the one-day stuff. I know the actual 50-over World Cup itself is a very long way away, but actually, things start now in preparation for that. And that process begins probably in the first ODI here in Zimbabwe.” 

About the Zimbabwe side:

I don't think [failing in the recent Qualifier] has changed my opinion on Zimbabwe cricket. The team itself, we know they're a strong team. The fact is that we can't rest on our laurels based on the previous results. We've never won a series in Zimbabwe, so I think there's absolutely no reason to take Zimbabwe lightly or think that we cannot be anything but our best to win games. We need to be at our very peak. We know Zimbabwe have had a tough time recently, but we know that their players are good players, so we'll be ready for their best to come at us, and we've got to be the same.” 

About the emerging Irish talent coming through: 

I think it's really important for the transition. If you've got good youngsters who come in, especially with experienced heads, and it's done properly, then that transition period doesn't last as long, and you're in the swing of things. I think what's helped us a lot is there hasn't been a stagnant year or two where results haven't gone our way, and we've put ten youngsters in at the same time and things get difficult then. I think it's been managed fairly well, and I think you starting to see the youngsters really become senior players already, and they're only 24-25 years old. We're delighted with how they've gone, and actually, they're going to be the stars of the future for us in no time at all. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they kick on from what's been a pretty solid start. 



  • Zimbabwe won 2-1 in January 2023, in Harare.
  • Zimbabwe won by 31 runs in the T20 World Cup match, Hobart, Australia, in October 2022.
  • Ireland won 3-2 in Dublin/Bready in September 2021 (Paul Stirling with an unbeaten 115 in the 3rd T20I, while Mark Adair took 4-23 in the 4th T20I, both in Bready).


  • Drew 1-1 in Zimbabwe in January 2023 (unbeaten centuries for both Andrew Balbirnie (121), and Harry Tector (101), while Josh Little took 4-38 in the first ODI).
  • Drew 1-1 in Belfast in September 2021
  • Ireland won 3-0 in Belfast in July 2019 (century for Andrew Balbirnie (101) in the first match, and Tim Murtagh took 5-21 in the second match). 


Harare Sports Ground

  • Situated in the heart of the city, the Harare Sports Ground hosted Zimbabwe’s first Test match in October 1992 - when they hosted India - and has been the country’s major Test and One-Day venue ever since. The venue is short ten-minute walk from the city centre. The capacity of the ground is around 10,000 and can be increased using temporary stands if required. The ground is home to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

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