Ireland's one-day international series against UAE is in the balance after the hosts reported another player having tested positive with Covid-19.

The second of the four matches was due to be played on Sunday but, with three positive cases in the UAE camp, it was postponed by 48 hours. However, hopes of the game going ahead today were dashed by a fourth case and now the remaining two games must be in doubt.

The Emirates Cricket Board and Cricket Ireland have agreed to go into a holding pattern and have not called off the entire series, but the UAE squad cannot afford to lose any more players if they are to have a chance of completing the series.

A statement from the home board last night, confirming the second match had been “suspended”, said: “Discussions are continuing with all concerned parties, including the relevant authorities, regarding rescheduling of the remaining matches. A decision will be made and communicated once an agreement has been reached and approved.”

The remaining two games had been rescheduled for Thursday and Saturday and, while Thursday must be in severe doubt, the series could continue on Saturday with another match on Monday, which would still give Ireland three days before their vital World Cup Super League series against Afghanistan gets under way.

With no problems over that series at the moment, Shane Getkate and Conor Olphert have flown out to join the Ireland squad, all of whom tested negative in the latest round of tests.

Getkate, the Instonians all-rounder, who played three ODIs against Zimbabwe in July 2019, is a replacement for David Delany who had to return home last week with a recurrence of his knee problem, and brings the squad back up to 16.

Uncapped Olphert (24) only made his inter-provincial debut for North West Warriors last September and will be used as a net bowler to ease the workload for the pace bowlers ahead of the Afghanistan series.

The Bready opening bowler admitted he was “completely shocked” by his call-up, before adding: “I really appreciate the opportunity to go out to the UAE. It’s not something I ever thought I’d get a chance to do, so I’m determined to make the make the most of the opportunity.”