Sport Ministry working on bringing home Trinidad and Tobago women's cricketers

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

THE MINISTRIES of Health, and Sport and Community Development are working on ensuring Trinidad and Tobago’s women cricketers return home safely from the abandoned ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

The West Indies women’s team were scheduled to play their second World Cup qualifier against Sri Lanka on Saturday but the match was abandoned because a member of the Sri Lankan team tested positive for covid19.

The tourney was then called off owing to the emergence of the latest covid19 variant, omicron, in South Africa and the introduction of travel restrictions from a number of African countries, including host country Zimbabwe.

In a statement on Saturday, ICC head of events Chris Tetley said Cricket West Indies (CWI) is working closely with the sport’s governing body to ensure all members of the squad remain safe as arrangements are being made for their return home.

Tetley said the teams will fly out of Zimbabwe “as soon as possible”.

There are two Trinidadians on the team – vice-captain Anisa Mohammed and reserve player Karishma Ramharack.

At Saturday’s health ministry covid19 media conference, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh responded to questions surrounding the safe return of the TT pair and if they would have pay for state quarantine.

He said, “Those questions that you have raised are already engaging the attention of the Ministry of Sport. Regarding the Trinidadians returning here, we will work with their respective agencies, as they are on national duty, to see what arrangements could be made for them.”

Additionally, the West Indies have been chosen as hosts for the January to February 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup which will feature the likes of South Africa and Uganda.

However, with the government’s recent decision to impose travel restrictions on eight African countries – Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – to restrict the spread of omicron, Deyalsingh was also asked if these new guidelines would affect the tournament.

He responded, “The same thing will apply to other teams. We will work closely with the Ministry of Sport and their (other nations) governing bodies to see what arrangements they can make.

“But understand, the omicron poses a new threat to TT and the world and we have to respond and balance all of these things.”

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