The ODI series between Ireland and England received a boost on Monday after top Irish players returned to training under strict health protocols following the government's approval.
Cricket Ireland have been in a discussion with ECB over preponing the three-match series from September to fag-end of July and the series now seems possible although the UK government is yet to approve of the series.
Some of the top players resumed training on Monday with the entire men's and women's squad set to resume training later this week.
🎥: RETURN TO TRAINING
More than 30 of Ireland’s elite cricketers will begin their gradual return to training this week.
The first groups trained this morning at three cleaned and prepared hubs around Ireland.
➡️ Read more: https://t.co/nn2VMCEiR5#BackingGreen ☘️🏏 pic.twitter.com/DgHrBJLome— Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) June 8, 2020
Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland's high-performance director, reckoned that it was necessary to resume training this time around to stay at par with their England counterparts some of whom have already returned to the ground.
"We are still in discussions with the ECB," Holdsworth was quoted by ESPNCricinfo. "In terms of getting ready for those matches should the approval come, with a six-to-eight-week period regarded as essential from the standing start of lockdown to being ready for international cricket - particularly for our bowlers - it was crucial that our players did not lose any more time with the England squad already back to training.
"In addition, there is also still the outside prospect of the men's T20 World Cup in late 2020 - so it may still be a big year for the men's squad. The women's squad are looking at a rescheduled World Cup qualifier tournament which, if it proceeds this year, will require a lead-up programme.
"We have a few players still overseas at the moment, and two who permanently reside in England, but otherwise we expect to have the contracted senior men's squad involved today. The women's senior performance squad and the four emerging contracted players will start training from tomorrow [Tuesday]."