Cricket

‘I hope we don’t have to come close’ – ICC CEO on nine-man rule at Women’s World Cup

'I hope we don't have to come close' - ICC CEO on nine-man rule at Women's World Cup

With the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup just days away, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice spoke about the nine-man rule in place for the tournament and the challenges of hosting a a tournament during a pandemic.

On February 24, ICC announced that teams will be able to field nine players if their World Cup squad is affected by Covid-19, as well as two female substitutes within their management team (if available) in a non-beater, non – bowling ability.

Speaking on the new rule, Allardice said: “I hope it doesn’t apply. It’s something we’ve had to do over the past few months since the Omicron outbreak,” a he declared. “Almost all of our tournaments we have been challenged with players unavailable due to isolation for positive Covid tests.

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“And I think one of the changes is we had a pretty tight call to the West Indies at the Under-19 World Cup where there were a number of teams that had outbreaks, and we We had to have contingency plans is we want 11 v 11 we have 15 squads I think all teams are traveling with extra reserve players as well as a contingency.

“Fingers crossed we don’t need to come close but the premise is that these are the World Cup matches and they are 11v11. Hopefully every game goes as planned, uninterrupted, but there may be situations where a team has less than 11 players available, and we needed protocols to manage that.”

The 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup was scheduled to be played in 2021, but the pandemic forced its postponement. Qualifying for the tournament, in Zimbabwe in November last year, also had to be scrapped mid-term due to the emergence of the Omicron variant – hosting a tournament during a pandemic posed challenges unprecedented at the ICC.

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Restrictions have also been imposed by host country governments – in New Zealand stadiums will only be allowed at partial capacity during the World Cup. This is something the ICC CEO hoped to change in the second half of the tournament.

It’s been a discussion for over a year, probably the whole period that COVID is going on,” Allardice said. where we could welcome fans from different countries. We have worked very constructively with the New Zealand government for a long time.

“The world is changing and they are reacting to Covid at different rates – New Zealand has done a great job of protecting its people during this time.

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“It’s been difficult – the issue of pre-tournament quarantine and isolation is something we’ve had to work around in different ways over the past 18 months for international cricket and ICC events over the past nine months. .

“But the organizing team in New Zealand has had a very close relationship with the government, although over the last two months the regulations have changed. Logistically it has been difficult with dates and times.

“Discussions with the government are ongoing. At the moment there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend matches, but we hope that as the situation develops in New Zealand, we may be able to be getting more capacity in the stadiums in the second half of the tournament.”