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(CRICINFO) The West Indies women have been cleared to fly home on Friday after an 11-day quarantine in Oman. The contingent was stranded in Oman since the ICC called off the women’s World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe on November 27 after travel restrictions were imposed on large parts of southern Africa following the detection of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
“We are pleased to confirm that the West Indies Women’s squad will soon be making their way back home,” CWI CEO Johnny Grave said.
“We want to thank them for their patience and understanding as we worked with our counterparts at the ICC and Oman Cricket to facilitate their return at the earliest opportunity. We want to express our appreciation to the ICC, Oman Cricket and our operations team, who have worked tirelessly to ensure everyone was comfortable and remained safe.”
Head coach Courtney Walsh said that the team is “relieved” to head back home and be with their families before Christmas and that the transition period in Oman has been “mentally taxing” on the entire team, both for the players and management staff.
“As a management group, we tried to ensure that the players remained in a positive frame of mind,” Walsh said in a statement. “Our strength and conditioning coach created a fitness challenge for all of us to participate in for the duration of the quarantine period, as it was something to take our minds off what was happening. I must say thanks to our Team Manager, the ICC and Oman Cricket, for all their logistical work, in ensuring we’re on our way home as quickly as possible.”
The squad was flown to Oman via an ICC private charter, with a short stopover in Namibia, along with eight other international squads. Oman was used as a staging area for the West Indies contingent while they awaited an available route home.
With the ODI World Cup set to take place next March and April, the qualifier cannot be held at a later date, and the ICC said that the three remaining spots will be decided according to the rankings. Following the termination of the qualifying event, Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan secured their places. Hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India have already qualified for the marquee event.