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UAE-Ireland ODI called off again after Covid-19 outbreak worsens

Series in doubt after further positive means UAE must "remain in quarantine for extended period"

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi being sanitised before a game

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi being sanitised before a game during the IPL  •  BCCI

The ODI series between UAE and Ireland has been hit by its second postponement in three days after a further Covid-19 positive was returned by the home camp.
Sunday's second ODI was called off the day before after a third UAE player tested positive for the virus. Following 48 hours of isolation, the Emirates Cricket Board has now announced another positive case within the squad.
With the team now required to "remain in quarantine for an extended period of time", it could affect the ability of the remaining three ODIs to be played. Ireland are also due to face Afghanistan in a three-match series in Abu Dhabi starting on January 21.
Cricket Ireland said it supported the ECB's decision and would continue to monitor the situation, with the health and safety of the players its priority.
"Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed that tomorrow's match in the ODI Series 2021 against Ireland has been suspended," said an ECB statement. "This decision, supported by Cricket Ireland, was made after a new directive was received from authorities.
"This followed over 48 hours of self-isolation by the UAE team after four reported positive cases of Covid-19. Additionally, the directive from the authorities requires the UAE team to remain in quarantine for an extended period of time.
"Discussions are continuing with all concerned parties, including the relevant authorities, regarding rescheduling of the remaining matches. A decision will be made and communicated once an agreement has been reached and approved."
UAE won the opening match of the series - their first ODI victory over Ireland - on Friday, despite losing Chirag Suri and Aryan Lakra to positive Covid-19 tests in the build-up. Alishan Sharafu, who played in the first ODI, then became the third player to test positive, with the remaining games rescheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - although that schedule is now in doubt.