Dublin, March 17 (IANS) Ireland's tour of Zimbabwe, where both the teams were scheduled to play six international matches in early April, has been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Featuring three T20Is and as many ODIs, the tour was supposed to start from April 2 but will now have a new date.
Revealing the development, Givemore Makoni, Acting Managing Director of Zimbabwe Cricket, explained how the decision was purely a precautionary measure, keeping in mind the global status of the issue.
"We were looking forward to hosting Ireland in Bulawayo next month, but with the world in the throes of a public health emergency on a scale not witnessed in over a century, postponing the tour was the only reasonable decision," Makoni said.
"Indeed, the mutually agreed decision to postpone the series is the right thing to do, given the worsening coronavirus pandemic and the overwhelming priority to safeguard the players, fans and the entire cricket community. We are looking to reschedule the tour once the pandemic has been brought under control," he added.
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland also echoed Makoni's views on the decision.
"This is the only reasonable decision in the circumstances, as we all play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19," Deutrom stated. "We have taken the advice of Irish and British governments, as well as relevant health and sports bodies, and will take a safety-first approach to our operations over the coming weeks and months.
"Apart from the players and coaches, it is the families and social circles that we are conscious of, and to tour at this point would cause unnecessary risk to the wider community. We pass on our thanks to Givemore and all of Zimbabwe Cricket for so readily agreeing with this position, and we shall work with Zimbabwe Cricket to seek a new date for the tour when we are all in a position to plan for the future with greater certainty."
Zimbabwe hasn't reported any cases of coronavirus so far and there aren't any restrictions placed on Irish citizens for travelling to the African nation.