Cricket Ireland and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have agreed to a change in the tour itinerary as per the request from the Irish Government that necessitated a change in travel plans to return home, said Cricket Ireland on Saturday.
The itinerary change will result in the Ireland Wolves squad departing Dhaka two days earlier, reducing the T20 leg of the tour by one match.Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, explained the rationale behind the change:
“While unfortunate that we will be sacrificing one T20, Irish authorities have advised that extensions of quarantining regulations for in-bound passengers to Ireland flying through Category 2 ‘red list’ countries mean a compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine. As our route home was via the UAE, that would mean our squad would be caught up under these regulations – regardless of whether we were stopping over or simply transiting through – so we have had to re-route the players home via another country not on the red-list.”
“We have always said that the mental and physical health and welfare of our squads are our first priority, so avoiding a 14-day hotel quarantine was essential. Given the rigorous bubble conditions these players have already abided by over the last four weeks, the fact that some of the squad would have experienced similar bio-bubbles in the UAE not so long ago, and the possibility that countries could be added to the red-list at any time, we considered the sacrifice of one T20 a reasonable compromise in order to get the squad home as quickly as possible, via a non-category 2 country.”
“We sincerely appreciate the support and understanding of our hosts, the Bangladesh Cricket Board, who agreed readily to the changes and additionally agreed to a change in date of the final T20 fixture in order for both sides to maximise playing time. We are also grateful to our colleagues in Sport Ireland who have maintained frequent contact with us to assist in understanding the practical application of the new regulations.”
The fifth and final one-day match of the series will be played tomorrow morning, while the T20 fixture will be played on Tuesday, before the squad flies out on Wednesday morning.
The upcoming fixtures are:14 March 2021 – 50-over match: Bangladesh A v Ireland Wolves (Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka; start 9am local time)
16 March 2021 – T20 match: Bangladesh A v Ireland Wolves (Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka; start 12.30pm local time)