| 8.4°C Belfast

Thailand body right to call off tournament, says Irish chief



Right move: Irish chief Richard Holdsworth had no complaints

Right move: Irish chief Richard Holdsworth had no complaints

©INPHO/Barry Chambers

Right move: Irish chief Richard Holdsworth had no complaints

The Ireland women's squad are the first cricket casualties of the coronavirus outbreak with the Cricket Association of Thailand yesterday announcing the cancellation of the quadrangular tournament, due to be staged in the country from April 3-11.

Ireland were due to play the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and their hosts as preparation for the T20 World Cup qualifiers, which are scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in July.

But in a statement from the CAT, it said the 50-over series "has been called off because of the concerns over the impact of COVID-19 in Thailand and across the world".

Thailand reported one new coronavirus case yesterday, bringing the number of such cases in the country to 43.

In response, Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth said: "While disappointing from a cricket perspective, the health and safety of players, staff and travelling fans is paramount, and we readily agreed with the advice from Thailand.

"It's an important few months for the women's team in the lead-up to the World Cup qualifier, so we will be working on a replacement set of fixtures in an alternate location to ensure the women are prepared for this tournament."

Cricket Ireland, however, remain hopeful the Euro T20 Slam will take place this year. The inaugural event, involving six franchises - two each from Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands - was due to take place last year but postponed by the organisers just three weeks out from the first game because of a shortfall of money.

After giving an update to the CI board, chief executive Warren Deutrom said: "We are continuing to work towards the goal of bringing the event to fruition. We have identified a gap in our playing schedule in 2020 that suits all three nations.

"However, as per 2019, we shall only proceed if we're comfortable the event has a sustainable future, cricket-wise and financially."

Belfast Telegraph