The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed the inevitable news yesterday that this year's T20 World Cup, due to take place in Australia in October and November, has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
No new dates have been announced but the ICC have provisionally put it back exactly 12 months, although they have not confirmed Australia as the venue.
As a result, the 2021 T20 World Cup will now take place in October-November 2022 and the 2023 Men's ICC World Cup, in India, has also been pushed back six months to allow for a longer qualification period, with the final scheduled for November 26.
Ireland are in Preliminary Group B at the T20 World Cup with Sri Lanka, Oman and Papua New Guinea but will have to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
The Women's T20 World Cup is scheduled to go ahead as planned in New Zealand next February, but Ireland are still waiting to hear details of the qualifying tournament, postponed from this month.
The Ireland Academy and best development players in the three main unions here, meanwhile, will have competitive action for the next two weeks, with Cricket Ireland confirming dates for intra-squad games.
The 12-game schedule got underway in the NCU yesterday at Shaw's Bridge and continues today at Eglinton with the first of the four North West games.
NCU games will be on Mondays and Fridays, this week at Shaw's Bridge and next week at Wallace Park, while Eglinton are the hosts for the next two Tuesdays and Thursdays.
All the games are T20, players will wear their club kits and, because of the current Covid-19 restrictions, no spectators are permitted.
Leinster games will also be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting at YMCA today.
NCU have named 28 players, including Ireland contracted player Shane Getkate, who top scored yesterday after missing out on the trip to England, while North West have named 27, from Under-17s to Ireland senior international David Rankin.
NCU Squad: S Getkate, M Humphreys, M Poskitt, O Metcalfe, J Hunter (all Instonians), N Rock (Rush), M Ellison, G McCarter, A Johnston, M Foster, R Adair (all Civil Service North), R Pretorius, A Adey, C Robinson (all North Down), J Mulder, J Matchett, D Miller, J Cameron-Dow (all CIYMS), M Topping, S Topping, B Snell, G Thompson (all Waringstown), A Clark, CJ van der Walt (both Carrickfergus), J Manley (Lisburn), S Bunting, H Warke (both Woodvale), E Wilson (Muckamore).
North West squad: A Austin, C Knight, C Olphert, D Rankin, G McFaul, K Bhavasar (all Bready), Gillespie, C Graham, R Logue, T Harpur (all Strabane), A Heywood (Fox Lodge), B Mills (Glendermott), C King, J Wilson (both Ardmore), G Hume, V Chopra (both Coleraine),G Kennedy, S Kennedy (both Ballyspallen), K Hall (Killyclooney), K Magee, R Allen, R Gaur, R Hunter (all Brigade), R Curry (Bond's Glen), R Millar, T Orr (both Eglinton), T McKeegan (Newbuildings).
Yesterday's scores: NCU Team A 158-4 (J Hunter 55, M Ellison 25, J Matchett 23; C Robinson 2-37) NCU Team B 152-5 (S Getkate 60, M Topping 41, O Metcalfe 30; J Mulder 2-20). Team A won by 6 runs.