CRICKET Ireland have been asked if they would bring forward their three one-day internationals against England from September to the end of July and beginning of August.
The latest plans for a delayed start to international summer in England would see West Indies – who were due to arrive this month - play three Test matches, starting on July 8, and because that would now clash with the scheduled visit by Australia for three ODIS and three T20Is, that tour has been moved back to September with Ireland invited to take their place for their shorter tour.
Originally, Ireland were due to play at three different venues – Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval - but I understand they would train at Trent Bridge and play all three games at Old Trafford, one of the biosecure venues, with a hotel on site. The games would all be behind closed doors with a maximum of 250 present.
All the Ireland players would have to be tested and arrive in England up to 14 days before the first match and there is then the difficult of arranging and playing warm-up games which would be essential before taking on the World champions in three World Super League games, which are part of the qualification process for the next finals in 2023.
Any games are, of course, dependent on the UK government’s advice on any easy of the lockdown, expected to be unveiled by the Prime Minister on Sunday, but for now, Cricket Ireland are happy to work with the ECB to make the matches happen, if at all possible.
The only other scheduled fixtures for Ireland this summer are six white-ball games against New Zealand from June 19-July 2 and two T20Is against Pakistan on July 12 and 14. But with the Republic of Ireland ruling out all travel beyond five kilometres until June 8, the NZ games at least, are a non-starter.