Ireland one-day match with Afghanistan abandoned

Phil Simmons
Ireland coach Phil Simmons

The first of Ireland's two one-day internationals against Afghanistan was abandoned on Wednesday.

The World Cup qualifier was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was put back to Wednesday because of heavy rain.

No play was possible at Clontarf on Wednesday morning and the decision to abandon the game was taken following an inspection at 14:00 BST.

The sides are scheduled to meet in another qualifier at the Dublin venue on Thursday.

Ireland currently top the ICC World Cricket League table and both teams were awarded one point as a result of the abandoned fixture.

Irish coach Phil Simmons agreed that organisers were left with no option but to abandon the fixture.

"The run-ups were completely unsuitable for even club cricket so we couldn't put our players through that," said Simmons on Wednesday afternoon.

"But the sun is out now and the breeze is there too so hopefully we will get play tomorrow."

The Ireland coach is hoping that the pitch will dry out sufficiently to ensure "at least 40 overs rather than 20 which would bring them a little more into the game".

Both teams are missing their frontline bowlers as Boyd Rankin is still recuperating from a foot injury while Hamid Hassan has a leg injury.

Afghanistan skipper Nowroz Mangal suffered a serious finger injury and has been ruled out for six weeks. Karim Sadiq takes the captaincy role in his absence.

The Irish team contains no fewer than eight players currently on county books, with Middlesex's Paul Stirling currently in scintillating form.

Stirling, who although only 21 has already played 103 times for Ireland has scored three consecutive half centuries for Middlesex in their T20 competition, and was man-of-the-match when the two sides met in the World T20 qualifiers in Dubai in March.

Ireland (from) - William Porterfield (capt) (Warwickshire), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Somerset), Trent Johnston (YMCA), Ed Joyce (Middlesex), John Mooney (North County), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Kevin O'Brien (Somerset), Niall O'Brien (Northants), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Stuart Thompson (Limavady), Andrew White (Instonians),Gary Wilson (Surrey).

Afghanistan (from) - Karim Sadiq (captain), Mohammed Nabi, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohameed Shehzad, Javid Ahmadi, Samiullah Shinwari, Amir Mangal, Gulbadin Naib, Dollat Zadran, Izzatullah Dawlatzai, Amir Hamza Hotak, Shahpoor Zadran, Shabir Noori, Najibullah Zadran