Ireland Considers Postponing Australia Series Amid Financial and Logistical Pressures

Ireland Considers Postponing Australia Series Amid Financial and Logistical Pressures

Ireland’s packed home schedule has cast doubt over their upcoming bilateral series against Australia. The series, scheduled for August and September, includes three ODIs and a T20I. However, Cricket Ireland is facing financial and logistical challenges that may force them to postpone the fixtures.

The Future Tours Programme (FTP) has Australia touring Ireland before heading to England for further white-ball series. But Ireland’s hectic summer schedule, which includes tours from Pakistan and South Africa, a T20 tri-series with the Netherlands and Scotland, and a one-off Test and white-ball series against Zimbabwe, has raised concerns about their ability to host Australia.

Ireland’s recent Test victory against Afghanistan and their upcoming Test against Zimbabwe have added to the strain on their resources. They are also set to host England, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands in women’s cricket.

Cricket Ireland high performance director Richard Holdsworth acknowledged the challenges, stating that the costs of hosting games in Ireland have increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. He also ruled out moving the Australia series to England, where Ireland has previously played matches.

Holdsworth said Ireland is exploring all options, including moving the Australia series to a different part of the FTP. He also expressed disappointment that Ireland’s budget is not as large as expected due to the new ICC distribution model, which allocates some funds to a retained surplus fund.

Holdsworth believes that if Ireland had access to its full allocation of ICC funds, they would be better equipped to deliver their international schedule. He added that Ireland, along with Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, may be able to reduce the withholding of funding through discussions at next week’s ICC meetings in Dubai.