Omicron COVID Variant: Women’s Qualifier Called Off; All Eyes On India Men’s Tours

Dubai: The new COVID-19 variant of concern, classified as Omicron, has claimed its first sporting ‘victim’. The women’s ODI World Cup qualifying meet, which was underway in Zimbabwe, has been called off because of increasing travel restrictions being imposed on several countries of southern Africa.

Nine countries — including West Indies, Pakistan and Bangladesh — were fighting to earn berths in the Women’s World Cup to be held in New Zealand next year. Eleven matches were already completed in the event, which started on November 21, before the International Cricket Council (ICC) called it off because of COVID concerns.

Hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India have already qualified for the tournament. They will now be joined by Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan thanks to their higher rankings.

The India A team is currently in South Africa, playing an unofficial Test series, while the senior team is due to fly there in the second week of December to play three Tests, three ODIs and 4 T20Is.

It remains to be seen whether the Indian government decides to call of the men’s engagements in the next few days.

OB Bureau

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