In wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic across the United Kingdom (UK), the proposed tours of New Zealand and Pakistan to Ireland between June and July have been officially postponed by the respective boards of the concern nations. New Zealand were originally scheduled to tour Ireland for three T20Is and three ODIs from June 19 to July 2. Additionally, the Pakistan cricket team were slated to tour Ireland for two T20I matches in July.
Amid the coronavirus UK lockdown and air travel restrictions imposed by the Irish government, Cricket Ireland were forced to call off their bilateral home series against Pakistan and New Zealand. Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom recently said in a statement that their home series were not feasible in light of the series of recent government announcements amid coronavirus UK lockdown. Deutrom revealed that New Zealand Cricket had also contacted them earlier to inform that they cannot travel.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Wasim Khan also expressed his opinion regarding the cancellation of their Ireland tour. Khan said that their primary objective is to ensure the security of their players, officials and fans. Pakistan were initially slated to play two T20I matches in The Village, Dublin on July 12 and July 14.
Cricket Ireland have announced the postponement of their home series against New Zealand and Pakistan, which were due to be played across June and July this year. pic.twitter.com/fvQNsLmxHF— ICC (@ICC) May 14, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus UK lockdown also forced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to shift the much-awaited 100-ball tournament The Hundred to 2021. As cricket continues to take a backseat due to the highly contagious disease, football fans still have some hope with the latest development on Premier League. Britain's Culture and Sport secretary Oliver Dowden recently stated that the UK government is contemplating to open the door for the Premier League to return in June.