Three Sri Lanka players test Covid-19 positive at ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021

Three Sri Lanka players test Covid-19 positive at ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021

Two players have shown symptoms while one is asymptomatic.

Sri Lanka women
Sri Lanka women. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Three players from the Sri Lankan women’s team have been tested positive with COVID-19 ahead of the team’s opening fixture at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 in Zimbabwe. According to the reports coming in from the African nation, two players showed mild symptoms upon which all the players were tested. 

The third player is believed to be asymptomatic. The tournament started on Sunday in Harare with all the nine teams being in a complete biosecure bubble. COVID has held back this tournament in many ways. Initially scheduled to be played in June 2020 in Sri Lanka, it was postponed due to the pandemic and finally was scheduled in November-December 2021. 

Papua New Guinea was supposed to be the 10th team, but at the last moment, they had to pull out with most of their squad falling sick due to COVID. Now with the Sri Lankan players falling ill, the tournament’s immediate future is under threat. The three players have been provided with all the necessary medical care. 

Though the rest of the squad is isolating, they have all returned negative reports. On November 23, they are scheduled to play their first match against the Netherlands. According to a report on NDTV Sports, the team will be tested once again before their first game.

ICC Head of events assures the tournament will go ahead as planned

Despite immediate uncertainty, ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley is hopeful about carrying on with the tournament as planned. “We have playing squads of 15 at the event, which allows for injuries and illness, including COVID-19 to be managed, and in addition, teams have had the option of bringing travelling reserves with them. As you would expect, the remainder of the squad are being closely monitored and they will all be re-tested ahead of taking to the field on Tuesday,” Tetley said. 

Sri Lanka is in group A, which also has Netherlands, West Indies, and Ireland. After playing the Netherlands on November 23, their next match is against West Indies on November 27 while their last group match is against Ireland on November 29. Six teams will qualify from the group stages and participate in the super six stages. The top three teams will join India, Australia, England, South Africa and hosts New Zealand in the World Cup which starts in February.