ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier called off; Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies to qualify for New Zealand 2022
Stafanie Taylor (L), Nigar Sultana, Javeria Khan (R) © Getty Images
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially called off the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 in Harare on Saturday (November 27) due to the introduction of travel restrictions in the region that has been induced following the breakout of a new COVID-19 variant.
Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies will progress to join five other teams - The hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, India, South Africa - for the Cricket World Cup next year. Ireland and Sri Lanka will be the two other sides that will be joining these eight sides for the next cycle of ICC ODI Championship.
There were some apprehensions among teams with Ireland officially expressing their concerns post the travel restrictions induced in the African region- including the host country Zimbabwe. After considering various options, the governing body decided to call off the event and allow teams to progress through based on rankings.
“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel the remainder of this event but with travel restrictions from a number of African countries being imposed at such short notice there was a serious risk that teams would be unable to return home,” Chris Tetley, ICC head of events, said.
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The Qualifier started in Zimbabwe on November 23 with preliminary rounds and today was the fourth day of the tournament with Pakistan taking on Zimbabwe and USA playing Thailand in the ongoing matches, while Sri Lanka, West Indies match was called off due to a Sri Lankan support staff testing positive for COVID-19.
“We have explored a number of options to allow us to complete the event but it isn’t feasible and we will fly the teams out of Zimbabwe as soon as possible. Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies will now qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 by virtue of their rankings, whilst Sri Lanka and Ireland will also join them in the next cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship," Tetley added.