Women’s World Cup: Hope it doesn’t apply, says ICC CEO on nine-player rule
With only a few days until the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice discussed the tournament’s nine-player regulation.
If a team’s World Cup squad is impacted by COVID-19, the ICC announced on February 24 that they will be entitled to field nine players, as well as two female substitutes from their management staff (if available) in a non-batting, non-bowling capacity.
Speaking on the new rule, Allardice said, as per ICC’s website:
“I hope it doesn’t apply. It is something we had to do over the last few months since the Omicron outbreak,” he said. “Almost all of our tournaments, we have challenged with players not being available due to isolation for positive Covid tests.”
“And I think one of the shifts is that we had a quite close call in the West Indies in the Under-19 World Cup where there were a number of teams that had outbreaks, and we needed to have some contingency plans. The bottom line is we want 11 v 11, we have got squads of 15. I think all teams are travelling with some extra reserve players as well as a contingency.”
“Fingers crossed, we don’t have to get anywhere near it. But the principle is it’s the World Cup matches and they’re 11 versus 11. I’m hoping that every match takes place as scheduled with no interruptions. But there may be situations where a team has less than 11 players available. And we needed some protocols to deal with that,” he added.
The ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 originally slated to take place in 2021. But postponed due to the pandemic. The event’s Qualifier, held in Zimbabwe in November of last year. And also forced to abandoned midway due to the development of the Omicron variety – staging a tournament during a pandemic has presented the ICC with unprecedented challenges.
The governments of the host countries have imposed restrictions as well; in New Zealand, stadiums will only be able to hold a portion of their capacity during the World Cup. It’s something the ICC CEO thought would be addressed in the tournament’s second half.
“The discussion with the government are ongoing. At the moment there are some restrictions on the number of people that can attend the matches. But we are hopeful that as the situation unfolds in New Zealand. That we might be able to get a higher capacity in the stadiums in the second half of the tournament,” he added.