Ireland’s home series against New Zealand, Pakistan at ‘high risk’ due to COVID-19
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Warren Deutrom, the Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said that the team’s upcoming home series against New Zeland and Pakistan are at ‘high risk’ of getting postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With Bangladesh’s scheduled tour for three ODIs and four T20Is postponed, the Irish season has already been pushed back to the end of May.

New Zealand is due to play three ODIs and three T20Is from June 19, while Pakistan is scheduled to play two T20Is in July in between series in the Netherlands and England.

“We’re all going to have to take a pragmatic approach – we just don’t know what’s going to happen even if sport does get back up and running in June. With regards to international cricket, we remain in a wait-and-see holding pattern. Clearly, there is a high risk that our men’s home series against New Zealand and Pakistan – scheduled for June and July respectively – may be postponed if Government restrictions remain in place,” Deutrom said in a statement.

Deutrom further explained the challenges that stand in front of Ireland for completing the scheduled bilateral home series.

“Of course, some of the challenges we face in trying to bring some degree of certainty are no different to any other sport with international opposition – for example, attaining visas for visiting teams and their support staff may not be possible as the Department of Foreign Affairs and the UK Foreign Office are currently not processing visa applications. In addition, each country will take the advice of their home government, so teams may not even be in a position to travel to Europe,” Deutrom said.

“More specific to our situation, both New Zealand and Pakistan are visiting multiple countries on their tours, so that adds an extra layer of complexity. Then there are more logistical issues such as hotel and international flight bookings, the movement and staffing of broadcast facilities, and complying with the restrictions that may still exist around large group gatherings,” he added.

With regards to supporting domestic cricket and the grassroots game, the Board agreed to Cricket Ireland continuing all regular payments to the Provincial Unions. These payments, made by the national governing body every year, go towards essential running costs including administrative and development officers, rental subsidies, game development programme funding, and costs of supporting coaches and player-support services.