CRICKET Ireland and Zimbabwe Cricket yesterday agreed to postpone next month’s six-match series in Bulawayo.

The three one day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals were due to take place from April 2-12 but, as the coronavirus outbreak cancels sporting events throughout the world, it was an inevitable decision.

Givemore Makoni, managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket, said: “We were looking forward to hosting Ireland next month, but with the world in the throes of a public health emergency on a scale not witnessed in over a century, postponing the tour was the only reasonable decision.”

Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, added: “Apart from the players and coaches, it is the families and social circles that we are conscious of, and to tour at this point would cause unnecessary risk to the wider community.

“We shall work with Zimbabwe Cricket to seek a new date for the tour when we are all in a position to plan for the future with greater certainty.”

That, though, is likely to be months rather than weeks away so, at this stage, no one is expecting Bangladesh to travel for their scheduled three ODIs and four T20Is in May, and the New Zealand white-ball series in June, also going into July, is in doubt too.

The other games in the international calendar this year are two Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan on July 12-14 in Malahide and three ODIs in England in September.

The climax is due to be the T20 World Cup in Australia, with Ireland playing the first match of the tournament on October 18.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie, however, is preparing for a long break and tweeted yesterday: “No cricket for a while. So if anyone in Sandymount/Rathmines (Dublin) needs or knows of anyone who needs shopping/delivery done for them please feel free to get in touch.”

A magnanimous gesture, but not something he expected to be tweeting when he left for India to play Afghanistan just 16 days ago.