Papua New Guinea have withdrawn from the upcoming Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe due to a slew of COVID-19 cases in the set-up.
PNG were in quarantine ahead of their scheduled departure on November 6. Subsequently, multiple PCR tests of the squad members came out positive, and they were forced to take the extreme step because of “not having enough players for the tour who can pass the COVID tests required for flying.”
“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,” said a Cricket PNG media release.
PNG were expected to reach Zimbabwe early in order to get used to the conditions. Incidentally, PNG haven’t played for about two years as a result of the Covid-19 situation. The Kaia Arua-led side were grouped alongside the West Indies, Netherlands, Ireland, and Sri Lanka in the World Cup Qualifiers.
“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. Our only comfort is that all the players and support staff who have tested positive, due to being vaccinated, have had only mild or no symptoms,” the release added.
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