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Update UAE-Ireland ODI suspended again but hopes remain for Monday clash
#1

For the fourth time in the last week, UAE and Ireland decided to suspend an ODI between the two sides due to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the UAE camp. The second ODI, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, could now be held on Monday.

On a positive note, the Emirates Cricket Board has reported that "there are still no new cases of COVID-19 amongst its playing staff". However, UAE public health directives haven't yet given the permission for a resumption of competitive cricket between the two sides.

"Emirates Cricket Board confirms that tomorrow's match in the Sky247.net Abu Dhabi ODI Series 2021 against Ireland has been suspended. Discussions are underway with all parties regarding a final ODI match between the UAE and Ireland being played early in the coming week," ECB said in a statement.

"Frustratingly the wait goes on to resume competitive action, however, we fully accept the rationale for the government health directive, and the health and safety of players and support staff will remain Cricket Ireland's top priority," Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, noted.

"With the Afghanistan series due to start next Thursday, the players and coaches are keen to get at least another competitive fixture in against the UAE prior to that, so we are hoping that a continued clean bill of health in both camps will allow us to play on Monday. The players will head out for a centre wicket practice tomorrow.

"We share the frustrations of fans who were hoping to see a great series with our hosts, but we acknowledge the work of the Emirates Cricket Board in trying to recover what we can of the series given difficult circumstances. We will keep fans updated as circumstances evolve," he added.

The series began according to schedule on January 8, but was hit after Chirag Suri and Aryan Lakra tested positive for COVID-19. More players tested positive over the next few days as the two boards had to postpone the second ODI. It was to be played on Thursday (January 14) but got suspended again. Meanwhile, the Afghanistan-Ireland ODI series is scheduled to start on January 21.

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