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bowled over International cricket series called off as Covid strikes Ireland backroom staff

The two members of the support staff who have tested positive will have to complete their isolation in Florida

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Ireland's Josh Little shakes hands with Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera after their October match

Ireland's Josh Little shakes hands with Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera after their October match

Ireland's Josh Little shakes hands with Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera after their October match

An American cricket squad that was to face off against an Irish team in a USA v Ireland Men's International Series has said it “devastated” after the event was cancelled when two members of the Ireland backroom staff contracted Covid. 

The first of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series was to take place in Florida on December 26, but was called off due to positive Covid-19 cases in the USA squad and the umpiring team for the matches.

The next two events, on December 29 and 30, were also abandoned after two members of the Irish support staff tested positive. Several partners of players also tested positive for the virus.

"While all players in both current playing squads have returned negative Covid results overnight, two members of the Irish support staff have tested positive, as well as several partners of players, resulting in two of the Irish players being deemed as 'close contacts'," USA Cricket said.

The Irish touring party was scheduled to depart Florida for Kingston, Jamaica on December 31 for their series against the West Indies.

However, the two members of the support staff who have tested positive will have to complete their isolation in Florida before their onward travel arrangements are finalised

"The decision has been a difficult one to make, but clearly the right outcome from a player and staff health and safety perspective," Cricket Ireland’s High Performance Director Richard Holdsworth said in statement.

"While there are no positive Covid results amongst the Irish players, we have had two support staff test positive and a number of travelling partners and family members also testing positive.

"This has meant two players within our playing ranks being deemed 'close contacts' and have been isolating while they are further tested and monitored.

"From a broader perspective, consideration had to be given to the current series as well as the second leg of our tour. We need to be mindful of travel requirements for entering Jamaica and meeting Cricket West Indies Covid protocols," Holdsworth added.

"Over the coming days we will prioritise the health and safety of our players and staff, and work with local officials in ensuring our people are well looked after - whether preparing to travel onward to Jamaica, or having to remain in Florida a little longer in isolation."

Holdsworth also said that Ireland will "certainly return" to the States to play another series "during better times".

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