England set to play Ireland at Lord's in four-day Test as Ashes warm-up clash

The ECB and Cricket Ireland are close to an agreement to stage the historic match at the home of cricket.

It would take place after next summer’s World Cup and before the five-Test Ashes series.

Ireland played their first Test match in Malahide, near Dublin, against Pakistan last month – losing by five wickets.

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The Irish had until now no further Tests in their itinerary and were hopeful of hosting Australia before the Ashes next summer.

Veteran batsman Ed Joyce announced his retirement from all cricket a couple of days after he played in the Test against Pakistan.

Test matches are normally scheduled for five days but the International Cricket Council approved four-day Tests last October.

South Africa beat Zimbabwe in a four-day Test last December.

It would be England’s first Test scheduled for fewer than five days since they played a four-dayer in New Zealand in 1971.

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