The third ODI match between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for 12th January, has been suspended – just two days after the second ODI was postponed – as another UAE player has returned with a positive test for the coronavirus ahead of the game.
Middle-order UE batsman, Alishan Sharafu was tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday which led to the postponement of the second ODI. Earlier, batsman Chirag Suri and left-arm spinner Aryan Lakra have also contracted the virus and are currently in quarantine.
Both the boards – Emirates Cricket Board and Cricket Ireland – have agreed to suspend the third ODI; the fourth ODI is on January 14th and the re-scheduled ODI on 16th January remains as scheduled hitherto.
“Emirates Cricket Board has advised Cricket Ireland of a further player who has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, it has been agreed that Tuesday’s ODI will be suspended,” Cricket Ireland said in a statement.
“Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed that Tuesday’s match in the ODI Series 2021 against Ireland has been suspended. This decision, supported by Cricket Ireland, was made after a new directive was received from authorities,” Emirates Cricket Board said on Monday.
The hosts lead the series 1-0 after winning the first ODI by 6 wickets. Chasing a target of 270, middle-order batters, Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman notched up their respective hundreds as UAE completed the chase with an over to spare.
Ireland and Afghanistan ODI series in UAE rescheduled
The 3-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Ireland, which was supposed to commence on 18th January, has been rescheduled owing to the delayed arrival of the hosts in the UAE. The series will now begin on 21st January in Abu Dhabi; the next two ODIs to take place on 24 and 26 of the same month.
The matches were earlier slated to take place in Oman. However, it will be now played in Abu Dhabi due to visa issues faced by the Afghanistan Cricket Board.
The series is part of the ICC World Cup Super League, which is a qualifying route for the 2023 World Cup. The ACB has asked their star players, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi to return back from the Big Bash League in Australia where they are currently playing.