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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Cricket Ireland drop Bangladesh Test match to play T20 due to 'financial constraints'

The T20 series against Afghanistan has also been cancelled.

A general view of stumps (file pic).
A general view of stumps (file pic).
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

CRICKET IRELAND TODAY announced that “financial constraints” have forced them to drop next May’s planned home Test match against Bangladesh, and that they’ll play a T20 international instead.

The cancellation of the August T20 series against Afghanistan was also confirmed, along with the May downgrade for Graham Ford’s side.

A statement reads: “The Board of Cricket Ireland today confirmed a range of changes to the Future Tours Programme in 2020, resulting from financial constraints and prioritisation of fixtures that have direct context to upcoming world cups.

Key amongst the changes was the conversion of the home Test match against Bangladesh into a T20 International, and the loss of the Afghanistan series.

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“We were proud to become world cricket’s 11th Test playing nation and have a long-term commitment to that format of the game.

“Both fans and players alike have enjoyed the spectacle of Ireland competing in the Test arena, however we have been very careful in our approach to Test cricket and understand that it is a long-term proposition to build up a competitive side in the long game, and will require significant investment in permanent infrastructure before we can make regular Test cricket financially sustainable.

“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.

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“The ICC have been supportive in giving us this opportunity, but the reality to date has been Cricket Ireland dealing with significant financial challenges. The costs associated with delivering to Full Membership standards and fulfilling a much greater number of international fixtures each year has not been matched by expected revenues and a number of key unforeseen financial blows.

“With an allocation amounting to less than half of that of Zimbabwe, our expected revenues from the ICC Funding Model for Full Members have not been realised. Although we generate a higher percentage of our own income outside of ICC funding than a number of more established nations, the fact is that it is insufficient to help us transition smoothly to our current status.”

“This has been a great disappointment to us as we had hoped to have had an injection of new money into the sport from Full Membership that would have not only helped fulfil fixtures, but invest in infrastructure and the grassroots game across Ireland,” Deutrom added.

“We have been told that this expected shortfall is set to continue until 2023 when a new ICC Funding Model will be developed that will hopefully provide a greater share of the overall allocation, although of course that is still subject to discussion among all the members.

“In addition, while the day-to-day running of cricket goes on, we have also been hampered by the revenue shortfall from the postponement by 12 months of the Euro T20 Slam, an international broadcast partner falling over, the high costs of insurance of international games held at home and the ongoing challenge of high temporary infrastructure.”

The statement in full from Cricket Ireland can be read here.

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