Dubai [UAE], May 12 (ANI): Despite expressing disappointment over the postponement of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier, the head coach of Ireland's women's cricket team Ed Joyce has said that it is an understandable decision given the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The ICC on Tuesday announced the postponement of two World Cup qualifying events - the women's Qualifier, which was due to take place in Sri Lanka between 3 and 19 July, and the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier Europe Division 2, which was scheduled to be played in Denmark between 24 and 30 July.
"Naturally we are disappointed to see this important qualifying tournament postponed, but it is an understandable situation given the circumstances," the ICC's official website quoted Joyce as saying.
"The chance to qualify for a world cup is always a big moment in a player's career, and I know - before lockdown - the performance squad were well positioned, some in Ireland and others playing club cricket during the Irish winter in Australia," he added.
Joyce said although he is conducting video-conferences and working on fitness programmes with the team, there is "no substitute for getting out and playing."
"We had a lead-in programme in place for the Qualifier before the pandemic hit, but - like everyone else - we've had to adapt quickly to lockdown conditions. We have continued fitness programmes and held numerous team learning sessions via video-conferencing over the last two months, but despite the opportunities that these sessions offer, there is no substitute to getting out and playing, so we're all eager to get out and play when conditions permit," he said.
"The fixture schedule ahead is certainly going to be a busy one for all cricket nations given the postponements, and we'll need to develop a preparation programme in the lead up to the tournament, so we hope the ICC can give ample notification of the new dates. It is a challenging time for everyone, but we have a resilient young squad and I know they'll be dedicated to the task once we're back underway," Joyce added. (ANI)