Dubai: The ICC women's ODI World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson on Friday asserted that there will be no change in the number of venues or scheduling of the event despite the recent spread of the COVID-19's Omicron variant in host country New Zealand.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held in New Zealand from 4 March, with the hosts taking on West Indies in the tournament opener.
However, New Zealand has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases recently leading to several restrictions.
"We have been in preparation to host the World Cup here in 2022 for quite a sometime, originally it was scheduled for 2021. We are well on track and 35 days away from the opening match in Tauranga and 66 days away from the final at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
"The first thing to say is that the tournament schedule is remaining as it is, and that involves moving around New Zealand," Nelson told a select group of reporters on a con-call on Friday morning.
"We are working with the ICC at a managed environment. But broadly speaking, the tournament will proceed nationwide as planned," she added.
On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket announced a reworked schedule to curb the risk of COVID-19 by ensuring that the teams will not have to travel a lot for matches in both men's and women's events.
"The big change in the last week or so has come about though is New Zealand has the Omicron variant. But what hasn't changed is our full commitment to staging an incredible event for the athletes," stated Nelson.
The World Cup is slated to be played at six venues — Tauranga, Dunedin, Hamilton, Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch and Nelson maintained that as of now there was no change in location.
"The plan is to retain the schedule as it is with the six venues. The contingency measures were put in place related to protecting the travel between those venues as much as possible.
"We are currently staging the event as per the schedule that has been previously published with no changes of
"So, there are no significant changes to the way the event will be delivered for the players. Predominantly the changes are related to spectators inside the stadium."
Nelson added that New Zealand government is doing its best to "maximise" the attendance at the event.
"New Zealand has moved to a traffic light system. With the arrival of the new variant, we are at the red of the traffic light system. And, broadly speaking, that puts the attendance at events only in groups of 100.
"So, the work we're undertaking at the moment is how many groups of 100 can we fit within each stadium," said Nelson replying to a query by PTI on what changes have come in organising the tournament post the Omicron variant.
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The health ministry informed that the active cases stand at 0.04 per cent of the total coronavirus infections in the country
The fresh COVID-19 infections reported on Friday were marginally higher than 2,827 cases logged on Thursday. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.58 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 0.69 per cent
On Wednesday, Chinese capital Beijing recorded just 51 local virus infections including asymptomatic ones, while Shanghai reported nearly 5,000, a downward trend as the city loosens some restrictions