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Euro T20 Slam postponed again due to Covid-19 pandemic

The Euro T20 Slam’s launch has been postponed by another year due to uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The league’s inaugural season was initially planned for 2019, but was cancelled at two weeks’ notice when its organisers ran into financial difficulty. The three boards behind the competition (Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands) had made various contingency plans amid the pandemic, including the option of staging the tournament in its entirety at Malahide, but pulled the plug on Wednesday due to the continued uncertainty.

“We had been discussing in recent weeks alternative arrangements to get the competition started – single venue, reduced team and player pool, a shorter competition – and, given the speed with which we set up the tri-series between the three boards in Dublin last September, we felt confident to leave the decision as late as possible to give ourselves the best chance to make it work,” said Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland’s chief executive.

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“However, we have now run out of road, particularly with the Irish Government’s recent decision to delay the next stage of relaxing its restrictions to August 10, and the Slam Board reluctantly reached the conclusion that the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and compromises being made to the original objectives did not make it a viable start in 2020.”

Deutrom insisted that there was still support for the “concept” behind the tournament, of a league involving teams from Europe’s three biggest cricketing nations outside of England.

“I believe we have made, and will continue to make, decisions that give the concept the best chance to succeed, including being prudent in not proceeding if the circumstances aren’t right,” he said. “The three participating cricket boards have also made it clear that the competition must deliver on the original objectives of providing high-quality cricket experiences for our players – that is the reason we set out on this road initially.

“Even if it takes until the third time of asking, we still very much believe in the viability, purpose and interest in a European T20 franchise concept, and will continue to do our best to bring it to fruition.”

Despite the tournament’s postponement, players from all three nations will be involved in some top-level cricket this summer. An enlarged Ireland squad is currently at the Ageas Bowl preparing for a three-match ODI series against England, while Scotland returned to training on Monday.

Netherlands were among the first nations to cancel their home internationals, but following the Dutch government’s announcement last month that sporting events would be permitted again, the KNCB has announced series against Denmark in August and Scotland in late September.

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