Cricket Ireland officials met remotely with the team management in Abu Dhabi last night to determine if the one-day international series against UAE can be completed.

UAE won the first of the scheduled four matches by six wickets last Friday but the second game has been postponed twice because of positive Covid-19 cases in the hosts playing squad.

The game was supposed to be played on Sunday but postponed when a third member of the UAE squad tested positive and when a fourth player was also forced into self-isolation, the game, which had been rearranged for yesterday was also called off.

The Emirates Cricket Board went back to Cricket Ireland yesterday with options on how and when to continue the series and CI will go back to the host board with the results of their discussion today.

The preferred outcome will be to reduce the series to three matches, giving Ireland two games – and a chance to win the series! – before they face Afghanistan in a three-match series, which starts in Abu Dhabi tomorrow week, when World Cup Super League points will be up for grabs.

The next scheduled date for the continuation of the UAE series is tomorrow but that has been ruled out, with the four UAE players awaiting a second negative test and further test results on the rest of the squad due the day before the next game. The earliest for a return to action would appear to be Saturday, with the third and final match of the series taking place on Monday.

Confirmation of the new schedule should be released today.

The Ireland players in their bio-bubble now face 10 days as return home in two weeks’ time on their return home after Tuesday’s decision by the UK Government to remove UAE from the travel corridor list.
The same rule already applies in the Republic.

Meanwhile, Curtis Campher admits it was Ireland’s inability to kick on after their good start and a failure to take wickets in the middle overs which cost them the first match.

Campher, playing only his fourth international, after making his debut against England in Southampton last summer, was the stand-out bowler but with figures of 2-31 in his 10 overs but the support was missing as CP Rizwan and Muhammad Usman put on a UAE record partnership of 184.

“My role in the middle overs was to try and build as much pressure as possible, keep it tight and try to take wickets as often as we could – but we just couldn’t do that unfortunately,” said Campher.

“Usman and Rizwan batted really well and that’s what made the difference as they had two batters who really stuck with it and we weren’t able to take wickets in the middle.

“The key for the batting department is creating long periods of the game when we can dominate. (But) we didn’t kick on and take the advantage.”