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Ireland see second ODI with UAE postponed for fourth time as series continues to be hit by Covid-19


Ireland's second ODI against the UAE has been postponed

Ireland's second ODI against the UAE has been postponed

Ireland's second ODI against the UAE has been postponed

Ireland's second one-day international against the United Arab Emirates has been postponed for a fourth time because of the impact of Covid-19.

The game, which was due to be played in Dubai on Saturday, has been pushed back four times now having been originally scheduled for last Sunday.

Cricket Ireland have said that they hope the game will be played on Monday.

Although the UAE squad confirmed there were no new positive cases in their latest round of testing on Friday, the local public health directives mean the game cannot be played.

"UAE public health directives will still not permit a resumption of competitive action between UAE and Ireland at this stage," Cricket Ireland said in a statement.

"Both the ECB and Cricket Ireland have agreed to suspend Saturday's scheduled ODI, however hopes remain that a match may still be possible on Monday."

The UAE saw three players test positive prior to the second ODI's original date on Sunday, which saw it pushed back to Tuesday, and then four more positive cases saw it delayed until Thursday.

However, public directives saw the UAE squad forced to self-isolate, which ruled Thursday out as an option, and now Saturday's proposed date has also been ruled out.

Ireland are due to face Afghanistan starting on Thursday, meaning there is a limited window in which to complete the series against the UAE, which will now be shortened to three games at most.

"Frustratingly the wait goes on to resume competitive action, however, we fully accept the rationale for the government health directive, and the health and safety of players and support staff will remain Cricket Ireland's top priority," said Richard Holdsworth, high performance director for Cricket Ireland.

"With the Afghanistan series due to start next Thursday, the players and coaches are keen to get at least another competitive fixture in against the UAE prior to that, so we are hoping that a continued clean bill of health in both camps will allow us to play on Monday. The players will head out for a centre wicket practice tomorrow.

"We share the frustrations of fans who were hoping to see a great series with our hosts, but we acknowledge the work of the Emirates Cricket Board in trying to recover what we can of the series given difficult circumstances. We will keep fans updated as circumstances evolve."

Belfast Telegraph