ICC allows teams to field a minimum of nine players during World Cup if hit by COVID-19
ICC ODI World Cup © Getty
With the persistent threats of COVID-19 lurking around, the ICC has decided to allow teams to field their side with only nine players in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in the camp during the upcoming World Cup.
This move has been made to ensure that the tournament goes on seamlessly and the board is trying to be as flexible as possible in its approach. In addition to that, the governing body has asked the teams to abide by all the protocols stringently.
“If it becomes necessary, we would allow a team to field nine players as an exception for this environment and if they had female substitutes from within their management team, we would enable two substitutes to play, non-batting, non-bowling, but to enable a game to take place,” said Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events.
Also the teams will be allowed to bring travelling reserves into the main squad of 15 incase of a player gets contracted with the COVID-19 virus and then once the player recovers she can slot back into the side in place of the replacement player.
“There's opportunity for players to contract COVID-19 but then to be able to come back. It's important that we do everything we can to try and maximise opportunities for the best players in the world to show their skills at a World Cup," Tetley said.
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All the eight participating teams have been allowed to pick a maximum of three players as travel reserves who can be included in the main squad in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
“So firstly, we have allowed squads to increase in size. Whilst the official playing 15 is still set at 15 as would always have been the case, we've allowed squads to bring additional traveling reserves so that they can replace on a temporary basis, if needs be because of COVID, players in and out of the squad during the event," Tetley added.
In case of tied games during the tournament, an unlimited set of super overs will be played until the winner is decided. The tournament is scheduled to begin on March 4, with the opener to be played between the hosts New Zealand and West Indies at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The final will be played on April 3 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.