17 July 2009

RSA Insurance has today announced its sponsorship of the One-Day International, RSA Challenge featuring Ireland against England at Stormont, Belfast, on Thursday 27th August 2009.

Organisers expect the Cricket match will be a sell out.

England will have finished their final Ashes Test against Australia at the Oval just three days before, so Irish fans will enjoy this unique opportunity to see the England team just a matter of days before they take on Australia in the ODI arena.

RSA's Chief Executive Philip Smith said, "As very proud sponsors of the Irish Cricket Teams, RSA Insurance is delighted to be the sponsor of this world class event. Both teams will rise to the occasion and do their countries proud. We are all looking forward to the match with huge excitement and anticipation."

Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland CEO said:“We are very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and proactive sponsor in RSA, and we are delighted they have extended their investment in Irish Cricket to incorporate what should be one of the biggest single days of sport in Northern Ireland this year.”

This will be third time the two nations have met in just three years. Stormont also hosted the historic first clash in June 2006, with England winning by 38 runs in front of a 7,000 sell out crowd thanks to a century from Marcus Trescothick. Ireland were far from outplayed, making 263 for 9 - Andre Botha top scoring with 52. The teams then faced each other during the Super 8 phase of the 2007 World Cup in Guyana, with England emerging victors by 48 runs.

Ireland captain, William Porterfield is clearly excited by the fixture, he said “Obviously it’s great to be given the opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best players in the world. It’s a fixture that all the lads are really looking forward to.”

He went on to say “The last time England came to Stormont, there was a massive turnout, hopefully the August date will attract huge numbers, and we hope to put on a real show for them.”

For Ireland coach Phil Simmons, “It’s a game which whets the appetite and the fact that it’s England gives it extra spice. It’s a real boost to the game here, and I know just how much the players are anticipating the tie. Following on from this year’s World Cup Qualifiers and World Twenty/20 tournaments this match presents another chance for the players to showcase their talents at the highest level. We’re looking forward to fantastic support from our fans.”

At the start of the season, RSA announced a three-year agreement with Cricket Ireland to extend its existing Official Team Sponsorship programme of Ireland’s National Cricket teams. The sponsorship covers the Senior team, ‘A’ team, Women’s Team and Under 19 squads.

Tickets for the RSA Challenge are currently on sale at Ticketmaster or by phoning Northern Ireland 0844 277 9950; Rep. of Ireland 0818 76 2121 

Adults £35

Under 16 with an adult £10

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