The white-ball series between Ireland and Zimbabwe will now get underway on August 27. The series was postponed a fortnight ago after the Ireland government issued new guidelines for COVID-19 in the country. The series comprises five T20Is, which starts on August 27, followed by matches on 29 August, September 1, 2, and 4. The three-match ODI series will get underway on September 8 and will be part of the World Cup Super League. The matches will also serve as the qualifiers for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023.
Cricket Ireland’s High Performance Director Richard Holdsworth said: “In order to meet quarantining requirements in both jurisdictions, the visiting side will spend the first 10 days of their tour training and playing in the Republic under bio-secure protocols, then the two sides can then move to Northern Ireland to complete the series.”
Ireland recently hosted South Africa for three ODI and as many T20Is. While the hosts were mauled in the T20Is, they gave a tough fight to the Proteas in the ODIs and drew the series 1-1. Ireland head coach Graham Ford is confident of Ireland delivering good results against Zimbabwe as well.
He said: “I think the squad reinforced their character, toughness and commitment during the South Africa series, but there were some lessons that the players took away — very simply, we have learnt that we need to improve in all departments of the game in both formats to compete consistently at the highest level.
“As for the T20I series against the South Africans, while T20s can be a bit of a lottery, if you do not start each innings well the challenge of the game grows dramatically. Brave and courageous options are required at times, but if the options do not work it is hard to recover in the limited time available. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in that situation in each game — particularly in the early power plays. It is an area we need to continue to work on.
“Zimbabwe have played excellent cricket recently and have a lot of players in good form at the moment, however once again we will go into the series looking to improve in all departments and not over-complicating things.”
Ireland vs Zimbabwe T20I series schedule
27 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 1st T20I
29 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 2nd T20I
1 September: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 3rd T20I
2 September: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 4th T20l
4 September: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 5th T20
6 September: Ireland Wolves v Zimbabwe XI – ODM (Venue TBC, start 10.30am)
World Cup Super League series:
8 September: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 1st ODI
10 September: Ireland v Zimbabwe – 2nd ODI
13 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 3rd ODI.