Ireland Test plans suffer further blow as Sri Lanka match postponed
Ireland’s Test plans suffered a fresh blow on Wednesday with the announcement that Sri Lanka have postponed their one-off Test scheduled to take place in February 2020.
It comes just days after Ireland announced major changes to its schedule for next year, with Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom referring to challenging “financial headwinds”.
Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement that the Ireland tour of Sri Lanka was not part of its original broadcast agreement and it would be rescheduled.
Cricket Ireland said it had agreed to SLC’s request to reschedule the tour to ensure the Test would come under the next broadcast agreement.
“We understand that ICC (International Cricket Council) regulations require all Tests to be broadcast, and it became clear only recently that this one-off match was no exception,” said Deutrom.
“We were far progressed in our planning for this short tour, so we and the travelling squad are obviously disappointed.”
Cricket Ireland on Monday announced a number of changes to its 2020 schedule, scrapping a Twenty20 series against Afghanistan and converting a home Test against Bangladesh into a T20 match.
Deutrom said Ireland, awarded Test status in 2017, had been confronted with “significant financial challenges”.
“We have additionally been very open about the financial and resource constraints that we operate within, and especially a number of financial headwinds that we have faced as we transition from an Associate Member to the operations required of a Full Member,” he said.
He said costs had not been matched by expected revenues and there had been a number of unforeseen financial blows, including the postponement of the Euro T20 Slam.
Deutrom said white-ball cricket had been prioritised over the red-ball game in 2020 because of the upcoming T20 World Cup and the start of the Cricket World Cup Super League, which is the qualification process for the 50-over World Cup.
Since gaining Test status, Ireland have played just three Tests.
In May 2018 in their inaugural Test in Malahide, they were beaten by Pakistan. This year they lost one-off Tests away to Afghanistan and England.