Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

UAE Cricket World Cup League Two tour to Papua New Guinea postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

The ICC announced on Thursday that all qualifying events until the start of July will be suspended due to global health risks and travel restrictions

Basil Hameed of UAE playing a shot during the World Cup League 2 cricket match against Scotland. Pawan Singh / The National
Basil Hameed of UAE playing a shot during the World Cup League 2 cricket match against Scotland. Pawan Singh / The National

UAE’s Cricket World Cup League Two tour to Papua New Guinea in June has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The ICC announced on Thursday that all qualifying events until the start of July will be suspended due to global health risks and travel restrictions.

“After careful evaluation of the current situation and with the health and well-being of the global cricket family the priority, all ICC qualifying events due to take place before 30 June will be postponed subject to further review,” the governing body said in statement.

“The decision has been taken in conjunction with members and in line with the relevant government and public health authority advice.”

The national team had been due to play a triangular series in CWCL2 against Scotland and United States in Florida, starting on April 1. That had already been called off earlier this month.

At the point that decision was taken, Broward County, where the series was scheduled to take place, had four confirmed cases of coronavirus. As of Thursday morning that figure stands at 412.

Even before the two series postponements brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, the UAE already had one match in the qualifying league outstanding.

The final fixture of their series in Muscat earlier this year, against Oman, was postponed because of the death of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.

The ICC’s latest announcement affects eight tournaments across the world, with regional qualifiers for the next T20 World Cup also be shelved.

“In light of the significant global health concerns at the current time and the restrictions on movement imposed by governments across the world, the ICC has taken the decision to postpone all events up until the end of June subject to further review,” Chris Tetley, the ICC’s head of events, said.

“We must act responsibly in the best interests of all involved and be guided by official advice.

“We felt that now was the right time to take a prudent decision on these events before further planning is undertaken and to provide clarity to everyone involved.

“Work will continue on contingency plans and options for both men’s qualification pathways.

“We will provide updates in due course on these plans and decisions on the staging of the remaining events this year.”

UAE’s next assignment in CWCL2 is scheduled to be a home series against Namibia and Oman in December.

Before that, they are due to play in a four-team Asia Cup qualifier in Malaysia in August.

The winner of that competition, which also involves Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong, will qualify for the Asia Cup, which could be played in UAE in September.

Updated: March 26, 2020 12:03 PM

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