LAHORE                    -              The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Ireland (CI) on Thursday decided to postpone their two-T20I series in July after the Ireland Government announced behind closed-door matches can only be possible after 10 August.

This date coincides with Pakistan’s tour to England for three Tests and as many T20Is for which the side is scheduled to depart late July. The matches in Dublin were planned for 12 and 14 July. “It is sad that due the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have to postpone our tour to Ireland. We were looking forward to returning to the venue, where we featured against Ireland in their inaugural Test in 2018, and country where our players have always been supported and admired by the friendly and knowledgeable fans,” said PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan.

“We fully respect and endorse CI’s decision at this difficult time. As we have all reiterated, the safety and security of players, officials and fans comes first. It remains a challenging time for all nations that are due to be hosting home series in the coming months; we as a cricketing family will continue to rally and work closely together. “The PCB stands firmly with CI in these difficult times and we look forward to revisiting Ireland as soon as normal services resume,” Wasim added.

Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: “With the Irish Government announcement on 1 May regarding the gradual process of lifting restrictions here in Ireland, it unfortunately became impossible to host the Pakistan T20Is in Dublin on the scheduled dates. “We subsequently discussed scenarios around delaying the fixtures – or even playing them elsewhere - but with numerous complications around Government roadmap timelines, bio-security, quarantining, and scheduling harmony, it just hasn’t been possible to find a way to get the matches played.

“We deeply regret this, as the cricketing bonds between Ireland and Pakistan are strong, and we were very excited to host the world’s top T20 side. We look forward to a time when we can once again meet on the pitch and wish our Pakistan Cricket Board colleagues good health during these challenging times,” he added.