The ability to have matches go ahead with just nine players is among the flexible arrangements that tournament officials have added to ensure next month's ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand runs as smoothly as possible.
While officials remain hopeful that the 31-day tournament will still run as expected, contingencies have been put in place to deal with the ongoing Covid outbreak and the rising case numbers in New Zealand.
Teams will be allowed to have two female support staff substitute field during a match with nine players, while the ability to reschedule fixtures to remain flexible are among the contingencies put in place.
"From a COVID perspective, we need to be a little bit flexible, as far as the way in which we manage the game to take into account these unique circumstances," ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said.
"So firstly, we have allowed squads to increase in size. Whilst the official playing 15 is still set at 15 as would always have been the case, we've allowed squads to bring additional traveling reserves so that they can replace on a temporary basis, if needs be because of COVID, players in and out of the squad during the event.
"There's opportunity for players to contract Covid, but then to be able to come back. It's important that we do everything we can to try and maximise opportunities for the best players in the world to show their skills at a World Cup.
"If it becomes necessary, we would allow a team to field nine players as an exception for this environment and if they had female substitutes from within their management team, we would enable two substitutes to play, non-batting, non-bowling, but to enable a game to take place."
Tetley said the ICC will also have the ability to use unlimited Super Overs within games, to ensure results are achieved on the day they are fixtured.
"I guess I couldn't talk about playing conditions in New Zealand without mentioning a Super Over, and we would have were it necessary unlimited Super Overs if we get to that point in the game," he added.
"So we wouldn't get to the boundaries countback that we experienced in 2019, so there will be a Super Over followed by another Super Over if we need to split the teams."
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