Six Sri Lanka women cricketers who took part in a World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe have tested positive for COVID-19, the Sri Lanka cricket board (SLC) said on Sunday. However, it's not yet clear whether the players have contracted the new variant of the virus or not.
"Steps will be taken to bring back the Sri Lanka women's team from Zimbabwe," the Sri Lanka cricket board (SLC) said.
After the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa that prompted travel curbs, the International Cricket Council abandoned the women's cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.
The detection of the new coronavirus variant called Omicron in South Africa forced a number of countries to tighten border controls and impose curbs on travel from several countries, including Zimbabwe.
The International Cricket Council took the decision to cancel the remaining World Cup qualifiers after Saturday's game between the West Indies and Sri Lanka was called off when a member of the Sri Lankan support staff tested positive for COVID-19.
After the cancellation of the qualifiers, the International Cricket Council said that Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the West Indies will progress to next year's World Cup in New Zealand by virtue of their rankings. The three nations will join New Zealand, Australia, India, England, and South Africa.
"We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel the remainder of this event," Chris Tetley, the ICC Head of Events, said in a statement.
"But with travel restrictions from a number of African countries being imposed at such short notice, there was a serious risk that teams would be unable to return home. We have explored a number of options to allow us to complete the event but it isn`t feasible and we will fly the teams out of Zimbabwe as soon as possible," the ICC said in a statement on Saturday.
The detection of the Omicron variant in South Africa has prompted some countries to tighten border controls and impose curbs on travel from several southern African countries, including Zimbabwe. South African sport began to shut down on Friday as the travel bans forced rugby teams and golfers to scramble to try to leave the country.