Papua New Guinea pulls out of Women’s World Cup qualifiers

Papua New Guinea has withdrawn from the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe after several members of the squad tested positive for COVID-19, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday.

Papua New Guinea had been scheduled to face West Indies on the opening day of the November 21-December 5 qualifiers but is unable to field a team. The 50-over squad had gone into quarantine in Port Moresby on October 30 and had been due to depart for Zimbabwe on November 6.

“Multiple PCR tests have been done on nearly a daily basis to try to give players the opportunity to test negative,” Papua New Guinea’s cricket board said in a statement.

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“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.”

The ICC said Papua New Guinea would not be replaced in Group A, which includes Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and West Indies. The five-team Group B includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zimbabwe and the United States.

Three teams from the qualifying tournament will join New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India at the 2022 World Cup in March and April in New Zealand.

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