PNG withdraw from Women’s World Cup Qualifiers due to COVID-19 cases

PNG withdraw from Women’s World Cup Qualifiers due to COVID-19 cases

PNG were set to depart for Zimbabwe on Saturday, November 6.

Papua New Guinea Women's team
Papua New Guinea Women’s team. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

PNG won’t be a part of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe after being “forced to withdraw” from the tournament due to the emergence of COVID-19 cases in their camp. PNG were set to depart on November 6, but pulled out because of “not having enough players for the tour who can pass the covid tests required for flying.” Their players went in quarantine on October 30.

PNG were scheduled to go to Zimbabwe early in order to get accustomed to the conditions, having not played any cricket in the last two years. They were set to lock horns with Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, and the West Indies in the group stage of the Qualifiers. Overall, only two teams from the tournament will qualify for the main event.

PNG cricket hit with big blow

“We have also over the weekend worked with the ICC on later flight options to give the team more time to still be able to tour. Unfortunately, all the extra efforts to get the team to travel have been unsuccessful,” a Cricket PNG media release was quoted as saying, Cricbuzz reported.

“Unfortunately, despite everyone in Cricket PNG being fully vaccinated, COVID has robbed us of the opportunity to play international cricket once again. The board, management, staff and players are all devastated at this turn of events. Months of hard work have gone into this tour, and to be robbed by COVID before we could leave is hard to accept.

“COVID is in the community in PNG and despite putting in best practices, including vaccinations and quarantining players seven days early, it wasn’t enough on this occasion,” the statement added.

In the meantime, PNG men’s team has been coming up the ranks. The team, led by Assad Vala, recently took part in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup. They played all their matches in Al Amerat and failed to win a single match in the tournament.

The team showed a lot of fighting spirit, but ended up losing at the hands of Oman, Bangladesh and Scotland in a pretty comprehensive manner. However, players like Vala, Charles Amini, Chad Soper and many others managed to grab the limelight.