Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
IRELAND are on course to resume international action in December in Abu Dhabi, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.
The Cricket Ireland board meeting this week was given an update on the senior men’s squad schedule for the year ahead and at least 10 opponents are lined up in at least seven different series – and that’s not including this year’s T20 World Cup which has been postponed until next October.
(Sheikh Zayed Stadium)
Before Ireland’s next round of games in the World Cup Super League – against Afghanistan in January, in Abu Dhabi – Ireland will play a three or four-team tournament in the UAE capital in early December against Scotland, the hosts and possibly a fourth team which should be confirmed in the next week.
The squad will play warm-up games in January before the three ODIs against the Afghans, with the hope that three T20s can also be tagged on the end.
High Performance Director Richard Holdsworth is in discussions for another tour in late March/April ahead of a busy summer programme of international action which will start in Amsterdam, the away Super League series against Netherlands, in a 11-day trip which also includes three T20Is.
Back home, South Africa are the first visitors in July for three ODIs and three T20Is and Pakistan could also visit that month for the two T20Is postponed from last July because of the pandemic.
The 2021 home season will end with the visit of Zimbabwe for three ODIs and five T20Is.
The World T20 is due to be held in India but the UAE is on standby as hosts if the pandemic is still rife in the sub-continent while the year is due to end with Ireland playing a Test match in Sri Lanka in December, the original game in February cancelled by the hosts at less than a month’s notice.