Dublin (Agencies): Ireland’s planned two-match T20I series against Pakistan in England in June has been postponed, with scheduling issues the main reason for the decision.
The series was initially pencilled in for 2020, but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which wiped out all of Ireland’s home fixtures for the season. ESPNcricinfo reported in January that Cricket Ireland was in talks to stage the games in England, with one of Ireland’s international grounds, in Clontarf, still unavailable after the square was relaid.
Talks reached an advanced stage, but with Pakistan players due to be involved in both the rescheduled PSL, and then with the World Test Championship final and England women’s international fixtures also due to start in June, there were too many variables for the ECB to confirm the fixtures.
Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, told ESPNcricinfo: “We had agreements drawn up with two grounds but the ECB came back to us and said that they had so many international teams coming into the country already, and that the logistics around bubbles and Covid protocols are such a significant operation that having another two countries in at that time was just too much.
“It is a shame, especially in a T20 World Cup year, but we still have three [T20Is] lined up against South Africa in July and five against Zimbabwe in August. We’re trying to reschedule the Pakistan ones for a future date at some stage down the line.”
Holdsworth also confirmed that Ireland’s away Test in Sri Lanka had been postponed once again, after being pencilled in for December, meaning their period without playing a Test would extend to at least two-and-a-half years.
“[The Future Tours Programme] is a real mess now that everyone is trying to reschedule stuff. There’s a stack of overlaps,” Holdsworth said. “When you add in quarantine times, the whole scheduling issue has become a nightmare for everybody. SLC are committed to us still playing that Test before the end of the FTP cycle, but not in December.”