Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ireland confirm postponement of Australia series

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Cricket Ireland has officially announced the postponement of their first-ever men’s bilateral series against Australia as they cannot afford to host world champions. The scheduled series, which included three ODIs and one T20I, was set to take place in late August.  

In March, Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, had said that the bilateral series might not go through. Now, Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of the board, has verified its postponement. He stated that they had made a challenging decision but deemed it crucial for the way forward.

“It was a difficult conversation, picking up the phone to Nick Hockley to say, ‘look Nick, we’ve looked at our schedule, we think we’re going to have to make some fairly difficult choices here about what stays and what goes, and we’ve concluded – difficult though it might be to believe – that we reckon this is the only way forward,” Deutrom told the Final Word podcast.

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Deutrom explained that the main issue for them lies in the limited number of pitches available in Ireland. It is noteworthy that Ireland does not have a permanent home stadium, and the expenses associated with hosting an international cricket series would be demanding.

“The simple fact for us was that because we have so few pitches here in Ireland that can host international cricket, we had to make a fairly difficult decision. It required us to have to open up Malahide Cricket Ground and if we were going to do that, we estimated it was going to be a very, very significant six-figure loss for us, to have to open up Malahide,” Deutrom said.

He went on to say that another crucial aspect is the broadcast rights, considering Australia would be one of the largest among all potential opponents. He further emphasized that the postponement underscores the urgent need of the construction of a permanent stadium, with plans in place to construct one at the new Sport Ireland campus in Abbotstown, in the suburbs of Dublin.

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“The fact is, broadcast rights wise, Australia would probably be the fourth-largest of all the various [opponents] that we would have… it wouldn’t even have covered the cost of production, opening up Malahide and bearing in mind it’s an entirely green-field site. Those, unfortunately, are the difficult decisions we have to make. We have to pull a ticket and stand in line in terms of all the other investments the government has,” he added.

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