Chirag Suri
Chirag Suri

UAE cricketers Chirag Suri (vice-captain) and uncapped left-arm spinner Aryan Lakra have tested positive for Covid19, ahead of the team’s ODI series against Ireland.

UAE Cricketers Tests COVID19 Positive

Emirates Cricket Board are hosting Ireland for a four-match ODI series commencing today at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ireland have won the toss and elected to bat in the first ODI.

According to a statement from the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), “Both players are currently in isolation, are being monitored and are in good health.”

It is as yet unclear what impact – if any – the development will have on the series, which began today, in Abu Dhabi, where all four matches will be played. The ECB’s statement suggested things will go ahead as planned, with “all areas immediately and thoroughly sanitized as per existing protocols” and “no further positive tests returned”.

Suri was making a comeback following injury for this series, while Lakra was one of four new faces in the 17-man squad, alongside Alishan Sharafu, Kashif Daud, and Adithya Shetty.

Following the UAE series, Ireland will remain in the country to play ODIs against Afghanistan. Since the New Year, the daily number of fresh Covid-19 cases in the country has averaged around 2000.

The series will be played out entirely at one venue, something that has become a familiar sight for cricket fans as the sport comes to grips with the ‘new normal’ in a world still attempting to fully deal with the issues caused by Covid-19.

Ireland’s last international matches came in July-August 2020 when they toured England for a three-match ODI series played out entirely at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, with the hosts running out 2-1 winners.

By contrast, UAE have had to wait nearly a year to get back to the cricket field. Their last international outing came in a ACC Twenty20 Cup encounter against Kuwait on February 27, 2020 in which they emerged victorious by 102 runs.

Playing XI

Ireland 

Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Kevin O Brien, Lorcan Tucker(w), Curtis Campher, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young.

UAE 

Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza (c), Muhammad Usman, Vriitya Aravind(w), Chundangapoyil Rizwan, Waheed Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Zawar Farid, Palaniapan Meiyappan, Alishan Sharafu, Kashif Daud.

Also read: Afghanistan-Ireland ODI Series Rescheduled Due to Delayed Visas