ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 to go as per schedule despite omicron scare

India Women

The ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 will be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3. England are the defending champions as they defeated a resurgent Indian team in the final of the 2017 edition in an edge-of-the-seat thriller by nine runs at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. With just over a month left for the showpiece event to get underway, the omicron variant threat had reportedly put New Zealand under enhanced COVID-19 restrictions last weekend.

However, tournament CEO Andrea Nelson has made it clear that there will not be any changes in the schedule. The Women’s World Cup has already been rescheduled by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled to be held in February-March last year. Meanwhile, the event’s Chief Executive Officer has said that as of now, the idea is to go with the originally-planned schedule with the six venues.

“We did look at multiple contingency plans over the last 12 months as you can well imagine. But the plan is to retain the schedule as it is with the six venues,” Nelson said at a virtual media roundtable organized by the ICC on Friday as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

There’s no information on postponement: CEO Andrea Nelson

Meanwhile, Nelson has also gone on to say that the plans have been well advanced and there is no information on the postponement of the tournament as of now.

“The first team is on the ground already. The next team arrives next week. Plans have well advanced. There’s no information [on a potential postponement] we have at the moment”, she said.

The six venues for the upcoming edition of the Women’s World Cup 2022 are Mount Maunganui, Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch respectively.  Last Sunday, the tournament hosts New Zealand’s rest of the bilateral series had to be moved to a condensed list of grounds in the wake of a community outbreak of the Omicron variant and that is why questions have been raised regarding the smooth conduct of the one-month competition in the country.

The upcoming eight-team tournament is an important one for a few players as they eagerly await to lay their hands on the prestigious silverware after faltering in a couple of finals. This could be the swansong of Indian captain Mithali Raj and veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami.