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Two UAE players test positive for COVID-19, but ODI series against Ireland to go ahead

Ireland won the toss and decided to bat in the first ODI. Pic: ICC/ Twitter
Ireland won the toss and decided to bat in the first ODI. Pic: ICC/ Twitter
ANALYST
Modified 08 Jan 2021, 12:33 IST
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Two UAE players have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their first ODI against Ireland on Friday. Emirates Cricket Board, however, confirmed that the series will go ahead as planned.

An official statement released by the board read:

"Emirates Cricket Board confirm that Chirag Suri, UAE Vice Captain, and Aryan Lakra have returned positive Covid19 tests. Both players are currently in isolation, are being monitored and are in good health. All areas were immediately and thoroughly sanitized as per existing protocols with no further positive tests returned."

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

The statement from ECB further added:

“The first ODI of the ODI series between UAE and Ireland will be played today January 8th 09:30 (UAE time) as planned.”

Meanwhile, Ireland won the toss and chose to bat in the first ODI against UAE at Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Ireland are also scheduled to face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi after their series against UAE.

UAE squad: Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza (c), Muhammad Usman, Vriitya Aravind (wk), Chundangapoyil Rizwan, Waheed Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Zawar Farid, Palaniapan Meiyappan, Alishan Sharafu, Kashif Daud, Chirag Suri, Muhammad Boota, Junaid Siddique, Aryan Lakra, Basil Hameed, Adhitya Shetty

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Ireland squad: Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Kevin O Brien, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Curtis Campher, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young, Simi Singh, Joshua Little, Neil Rock, James McCollum

After UAE ODIs, Ireland will target series victory against Afghanistan

Ahead of the ODI series, Ireland's vice-captain and their leading run-getter in ODI cricket, Paul Stirling, said that the team was looking forward to the one-dayers against United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Afghanistan.

Stirling pointed out a clean sweep in the Afghanistan series would improve their World Cup qualification chances. He said:

"The Afghanistan series is key - they are World Cup qualifying games so they are really important. We've always had good games against Afghanistan - we've beaten them in their own conditions. We will really need to target a 2-1 series victory, if not a 3-0 win," 

Before Friday's match, Stirling had registered 4277 runs to his name in 120 ODIs, and will be key to Ireland’s chances against both UAE and Afghanistan.

Published 08 Jan 2021, 12:33 IST
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