Cash crunch forces Ireland to cancel series against Afghanistan

Cricket Ireland has converted a scheduled Test against Bangladesh into a T20 while scrapping the five-match home T20 series against Afghanistan.

With a limited budget, Cricket Ireland's focus is now on the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.   -  Getty Images

Financial constraints have forced Cricket Ireland to rework its team’s Future Tours Programme for 2020, converting a Test against Bangladesh into a T20 while scrapping the five-match home T20 series against Afghanistan.

Ireland was awarded Test status in June 2017 alongside Afghanistan.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said the board’s financial health has not improved as much as it was expected to after becoming a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

”...we have been very careful in our approach to Test cricket and understand that it is a long-term proposition to build up a competitive side in the long game, and will require significant investment in permanent infrastructure before we can make regular Test cricket financially sustainable,” said Deutrom.

“We have additionally been very open about the financial and resource constraints that we operate within...,” he said.

“Unfortunately, our financial constraints have led us to cut the home Test match next year. As the Test does not form part of the World Test Championship, the one-off match lacks context,” he added.

The postponement of the inaugural Euro T20 Slam has also hurt the Irish board. With a limited budget, the board’s focus is now on the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

“The first area of prioritisation for 2020 has been white ball cricket over red ball. Like all Irish cricket fans, we would love nothing more than to be competing on all three fronts — Tests, ODIs and T20Is.

“For effectively a ‘friendly’, the expected costs for hosting the Test would be over 1 million euro, with little expectation of creating revenue streams to cover the costs of hosting,” said Deutrom.

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