Papua New Guinea or the PNG women’s cricket team will not make it to the World Cup Qualifiers set to start on 21 November due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the squad. The PNG management confirmed that there are not enough COVID-negative players who can undertake the venture right now so they are forced to opt out of the tournament. The PNG women’s cricket team has not played for over two years in an international fixture while the Men’s team could be seen in action during the First Round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
We have also over the weekend worked with the ICC on later flight options to give the team more time to still be able to tour. Unfortunately, all the extra efforts to get the team to travel have been unsuccessful. We do not have enough players for the tour who can pass the Covid test required for flying internationally leaving the Cricket PNG Board no option other than to withdraw the team from the tour today. Unfortunately, despite everyone in Cricket PNG being fully vaccinated, Covid has robbed us of the opportunity to play international cricket once again. 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.
Papua New Guinea Cricket Board Statement