Dubai: Three-format series between Afghanistan and Ireland, which was scheduled for February 23, will now commence on February 21 in India.
Hosted by Afghanistan, the series has been shifted two days before the schedule to avoid a clash with the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL), ICC reported on Monday.
“Initially, we planned to conclude the series on March 23 but keeping in mind the dates of the Indian Premier League in which three of Afghanistan’s main players will be participating, the dates were slightly adjusted and I would like to thank Cricket Ireland for honouring our request,” ICC quoted Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai, as saying.
“The importance of this series to both nations cannot be understated. So it was important that we could ensure the fans did not miss out on a clash that will see best vs best in terms of players available. We hope this slight amendment to playing days does not impact too much on the travel bookings of any fans attending the series. We look forward to a great series – which will include Ireland’s first overseas Test match,” Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said.
Both the teams, who were granted Test membership in 2017, will play all the matches at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Dehradun in India.
The series will feature the maiden Test between the two new full members. Ireland have faced Pakistan, while Afghanistan have clashed India. However, both the members lost their Test and will be looking forward to their maiden victory in the format.
Following the three-match T20Is, the teams will play five-match ODIs before the Test on March 15.
The ODI series will play an important role in Afghanistan’s preparation ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup. “The series will be important for Afghanistan as we are in the preparation stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and we are certain that both sides will play competitive cricket,” Stanikzai added.