Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan’s tour of Ireland, which would have consisted of two T20 Internationals, has officially been postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced.
The two matches were scheduled to be held in Dublin on July 12 and 14.
However, since the Irish government said that closed-door matches can only be held after August 10, the PCB has postponed the series since it will clash with the national team’s tour of England.
“It is sad that due the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have to postpone our tour to Ireland. We were looking forward to returning to the venue, where we featured against Ireland in their inaugural Test in 2018, and country where our players have always been supported and admired by the friendly and knowledgeable fans,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in the board’s press release.
“We fully respect and endorse CI’s decision at this difficult time. As we have all reiterated, the safety and security of players, officials and fans comes first. It remains a challenging time for all nations that are due to be hosting home series in the coming months; we as a cricketing family will continue to rally and work closely together.
“The PCB stands firmly with CI in these difficult times and we look forward to revisiting Ireland as soon as normal services resume.”
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom added: “With the Irish Government announcement on 1 May regarding the gradual process of lifting restrictions here in Ireland, it unfortunately became impossible to host the Pakistan T20Is in Dublin on the scheduled dates.
“We subsequently discussed scenarios around delaying the fixtures – or even playing them elsewhere – but with numerous complications around Government roadmap timelines, bio-security, quarantining, and scheduling harmony, it just hasn’t been possible to find a way to get the matches played.
“We deeply regret this, as the cricketing bonds between Ireland and Pakistan are strong, and we were very excited to host the world’s top T20 side. We look forward to a time when we can once again meet on the pitch and wish our Pakistan Cricket Board colleagues good health during these challenging times.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and three T20 Internationals against England from July 30 to September 2.
However, reports emerged that they could play five Tests instead if the West Indies scrap their tour.
The men from the Caribbean were supposed to tour England for three Tests from June 4 to 29, but it has already been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, further reports stated that if Pakistan extend their stay in England this summer, the PCB wants England to play at least some matches in Pakistan when they tour at the end of 2021.