Cricket Ireland released an extraordinary statement last night in response to online criticism of the organisation’s purchase of two Tesla Y cars for senior management.

Chairman Brian MacNeice issued a 500-word defence, detailing the reasons for purchasing the cars, which sell for between €43,000 and  €56,000.

This week Cricket Ireland cancelled a series against Australia and put several other games in doubt due to escalating costs. It deferred a decision on the Test against Zimbabwe scheduled for Stormont in July.

CEO Warren Deutrom

Ireland was promoted to full membership and Test status by the International Cricket Council in 2017 and played their first Test match against Pakistan in June 2018 but have yet to play a home game since.

As it stands, the only home men’s games in the Irish summer will be three T20s against Pakistan in May. A ‘home’ series against South Africa has been pencilled in too, although any benefits to the Cricket Ireland carbon footprint of the executive electric cars will be negated by the decision to ‘host’ these games in the UAE.

In the statement, MacNeice said: ‘It has come to our attention that car management procedures have become the source of negative speculation.

‘Let me be quite clear, Cricket Ireland takes much-considered and financially prudent decisions when it comes to operational matters like these, and there are firm business cases behind all such decisions when they are made.

‘The subject of this speculation is the decision made by Cricket Ireland to enter into a Hire Purchase agreement rather than a lease agreement on two cars.’

The statement explained the rationale for the move, saying that the lease option would have cost ‘€11,000 a year for three years, and at the end of the lease period hand back the car — total cost €33K over three years with no residual asset. This is the current practice.’

The second option considered that ‘as these cars will be an asset on CI’s books, we are able to depreciate the cost of the cars over three years, at a cost of €34K.

‘However, at the end of three years we have an asset worth €22K asset on the books which would have an open market value of approximately €30k, thus providing a potential €8k profit on disposal of the asset after three years which would give a total net cost of €26k to Cricket Ireland which is €7k more cost effective than leasing the car.’

A motor industry source last night told Mail Sport it was ‘ludicrous to claim that there will be a value of €30k in three years, considering the volatility in price in electric cars over the last 12 months, Teslas especially.’

CEO Warren Deutrom earlier spoke to Nathan Johns on the Substack, The Part-timer, and addressed the budget constraints: ‘As a result of our commitment to grassroots and pathway structures, we have made some hard choices regarding the hosting of some international cricket — most notably, the proposed series against Australia Men.’

On the field in Kathmandu, Ireland Wolves beat Nepal A by 21 runs in a T20 match that swung back and forth. The Irish side made 222-5 — the highest total ever in an international match without a batsman making fifty — with Peter Moor top scoring on 49. Cade Carmichael and Neil Rock made 38 each, Stephen Doheny 34 and Gareth Delany 30, including three sixes off the last three balls of the innings.

The Nepalis were struggling at 79-3 at the half-way point, but an amazing five overs saw them rack up 96 runs and slip into the box seat. But Fionn Hand dismissed  Lokesh Bam for a 56-ball 106, and Matthew Humphreys took two more wickets to slow the charge. Matty Foster mopped up the tail in a thrilling finish to the first of a three-match series which continues today and tomorrow.

Cricket Ireland also announced that the Men’s T20 international squad will play four matches in the lead-up to this year’s T20 World Cup, as part of a Tri-Series with Scotland and the Netherlands to be played in Amsterdam.

The men also face Pakistan on 10, 12 and 14 May in Clontarf.

The Tri-Series will be played at the VRA ground in Amstelveen, between May 18 and 24.