The Australian women’s team has been struck with a big blow just days before their first match against England on Saturday as their no.6 batter Ashleigh Gardener has been tested positive for covid.
On Thursday, March 3rd , Gardener was first tested positive in the rapid test. Later, even the PCR test came out positive resulting in Gardener going under quarantine for 7 days as per the New Zealand isolation rules. The rest of the Australian side in Christchurch have been tested negative and will be traveling to Hamilton to play against England on Saturday as per schedule.
The positive test will lead to Gardener missing Australia’s first 2 matches of the 2022 World Cup against England on Saturday at Hamilton and Pakistan on Tuesday at Mount Maunganui. The right-hand batter has scored 122 runs in the last 4 ODIs. She had scored a magnificent 60 in the 2nd warm-up match against New Zealand. In her absence, Australia has to figure out who’ll be filling her position at no.6 and finishing the innings against England and Pakistan.
The covid cases in New Zealand have seen a rise over the last few weeks. ICC is making sure to avoid big gatherings to avoid transmission. To avoid postponement of matches during the world cup, ICC has allowed the teams to take the field with a minimum of 9 players instead of 11 if circumstances arise.
The ICC Women’s World Cup is set to begin on Friday, March 4th with hosts New Zealand taking on West Indies at Mount Maunganui.
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