In a major upset ahead of World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe later this month, Papua New Guinea has been forced to withdraw from the tour after Covid fear in the camp made them short of the required number of players.
The team who missed out on cricket for two years due to Covid-19 were to travel for the qualifiers on November 6th, much earlier than the start with the purpose of getting used to the Zimbabwean pitch. However, multiple positive Covid tests and a short period of time before the start brought an unfortunate halt to their world cup dream leaving the players as well the fans shattered.
PNG Women’s Team went into quarantine on October 30 in preparation for their planned departure on November 6.
However, it is very unfortunate that PNG had to withdraw from the Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. 🙁 pic.twitter.com/DUJblkO2nG
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 9, 2021
Months of hard work after overcoming a series of challenges but failing to reach the target which though looked closely, but in a matter of time was unreachable, Papua New Guinea has been left staggered. After all, nothing is better than representing your country in a world cup match. That feeling is a unique and very special one.
Papua New Guinea was placed in Group A alongside West Indies, Netherlands, Ireland, and Sri Lanka while Group B comprises Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zimbabwe, USA. The tournament starts on November 21 followed by the Super 6 from 1st December. The top three teams from each of the two groups make their way to the Super 6 and the leading three from there find a place in the World Cup scheduled to be held in New Zealand next year from March 4.
In a release by Cricket PNG, the board has expressed their distress on the situation saying “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.”
Let’s all support Papua New Guinea in their tough time and wish a speedy recovery to the players with the hope to see the zest of the team back to the field soon.