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Cricket Ireland indefinitely postpone Australia tour due to ‘significant financial losses’

Ireland celebrate in the field
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Cricket Ireland have indefinitely postponed their scheduled white ball series against Australia later this year, confirming that they are unable to afford to host the series.

Australia were set to play three ODIs and one T20I in Ireland in August before travelling on to England for three T20Is and five ODIs. However, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has confirmed that the series has been indefinitely postponed due to predicted significant financial losses if the series was to go ahead.

“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,” Deutrom told The Final Word podcast. “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.

“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 the 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.”

Ireland hosted India for three T20I matches last year, all played at Malahide. Hosting international cricket at the venue requires temporary infrastructure in order to accommodate an increased number of fans. Afghanistan toured Ireland in 2022 for a five-match T20I series hosted at Stormont in Belfast, which also requires temporary infrastructure to host international matches. Last year Ireland played a ‘home’ ODI series against Bangladesh entirely at Chelmsford County Ground in England, and have also staged ‘home’ fixtures against South Africa in England.

Deutrom continued to emphasise plans to build a new stadium in Ireland, and justified the decision in terms of allowing increased investment in women’s and age-group cricket. “We are no longer a board that exclusively weighs itself by the amount of men’s senior cricket that we host,” he said. “We are going to try and obviously play Australia again in the future.

“But we are playing 46 international matches this year. We’re supporting 47 or 48 matches at provincial level with our men’s Inter-Pros, our women’s Super Series; we have an emerging competitions; our Wolves [men’s A team] have been in Nepal; we’re going to be hosting West Indies Under-23s this year. That is an awful lot of representative cricket.”

Ireland men are scheduled to face Pakistan next month in a T20I series, and are also due to host Zimbabwe for one Test match, three ODIs and three T20Is this year, as well as hosting South Africa for two white ball series. However, both of these series are also expected to be cancelled or postponed.

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