Cricket Ireland Postpones Visit To Zimbabwe Again Due To Covid

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By Sports Reporter

THE Zimbabwe national cricket team’s planned tour to Ireland next month for three one-day internationals in August has been postponed again because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zimbabwe, who are currently hosting Bangladesh were scheduled to play against Ireland in three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and five Twenty20s from August 6-24 in Belfast and Bready after the planned tour was postponed again last year.

The ODI matches between the two sides were expected to form part of the inaugural 2020–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League which is serving as the main route for qualification for the 2023 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be hosted by India.

But in Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe is on the UK red list for a seriously high level of coronavirus cases. In terms of travel, it means only British and Ireland nationals and British residents are allowed to enter from red list countries. In Ireland, visitors from Zimbabwe must serve a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

In a statement on Thursday Cricket Ireland confirmed the series has been pushed back.

“Following the latest advice for the conditions around which scheduled matches may proceed in Northern Ireland – most notably the stipulations of health authorities around quarantining requirements of the incoming Zimbabwean squad – Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that the Zimbabwe Men’s tour to Ireland will need to be rescheduled,” said chief executive Warren Deutrom.

“We recognise that with Zimbabwe being on the UK Red List, but a Category 2 country in the Republic of Ireland classification, approval for the series was always conditional upon the evolving advice of the government.

“This is a complicated process involving multiple stakeholders, and we are working closely with Sport Ireland, Sport NI, as well as health and sporting bodies in both jurisdictions to arrive at a new programme that will meet the requirements of both jurisdictions as quickly as possible.

“It is now anticipated that the series will be held in August-September 2021, but that some venue changes may be required to accommodate the latest advice received.

“These changes may have a number of knock-on effects with the broader playing schedule as well, and the outcome of these changes will be communicated in due course.

“We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of Zimbabwe Cricket Board and all involved as we work through these latest challenges, and will provide updates as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Chevrons continue to find the going tough in the ongoing series against Bangladesh after losing the first Twenty20 International by eight wickets at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 152 in 19 of their allotted 20 overs. Bangladesh knocked off the target with seven balls to spare at 153-2 to take a 1-0 series lead.

The other T20s are on Friday and Sunday at the same venue.

Bangladesh is looking to complete series wins across all three formats.