Ireland T20 series against South Africa A cancelled
Cricket Ireland has confirmed that the scheduled four game Twenty20 series against South Africa A has been cancelled. Following the postponement of the game today and with an extremely mixed weather forecast for the week ahead, Cricket South Africa requested the cancellation of the remainder of the tour to enable their players to return to South Africa to gain some match time ahead of next month's ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom explained:“We fully appreciate that the priority for Cricket South Africa is to give players that might be involved in the ICC World T20 every opportunity to get meaningful practice beforehand, which we cannot guarantee here, so we completely appreciate their decision.
“It goes without saying that we are disappointed for everyone, not least the players of both sides, our sponsors RSA and the hosting venues of Malahide and Oak Hill that have put in so much effort but have been ultimately defeated by the awful weather. Although the forecast for the 2nd half of the week is much better, the long-range view for Sunday is uncertain, while the inability of the players to train meaningfully before then and risk possible injury is too big to take.”
Ireland coach Phil Simmons was obviously disappointed at the news but fully understood the decision: "It's been a frustrating season for all concerned and the South African tour has been particularly hard hit by the elements. If we're unable to train outdoors this week we'll look to go to North County and have indoor sessions before we leave for Sri Lanka next Tuesday. There's no doubt that it's a serious blow to our preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 but we will have two weeks in Sri Lanka before our games against Australia and West Indies, and we of course have warm up fixtures against Sri Lanka 'A', Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in Colombo."
South Africa A coach Vincent Barnes said of the decision to curtail the tour: "It's not a decision we've taken lightly but given the amount of cricket that's been lost on the trip already and with the further likelihood of further disruption, we felt it was necessary to give the players a chance to prepare for the ICC World Twenty20. It's been an incredibly frustrating tour for everyone concerned with the weather, but I'd like to thank Cricket Ireland for their hospitality and understanding in what was a difficult decision for ourselves."