Canada’s campaign in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup ended officially today as a result of a rash of Covid-19 cases, which leaves the youth team unable to field a squad for their last two matches in Trinidad and Tobago.
ICC head of events Chris Tetley confirmed today that nine Canada players have tested positive for Covid-19 in Trinidad, which forced the tournament organisers to cancel their final outings in the Plate competition.
“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel two ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup games due to Covid-19 at this stage of the event,” said Tetley, via a media statement. “We were expecting to see some positive cases throughout the event and to date these have been managed in accordance with our bio-safety plan without impacting on fixtures. However, with so many players from the Canadian team testing positive, it will not be possible to stage these games.
“The players are now self-isolating and will receive full support from the event medical team under the guidance of the Bio-Safety Advisory Group.”
The novel coronavirus had impacted the competition before. New Zealand skipped the competition altogether so as to avoid lengthy quarantine restrictions on their return home. And some players in the squads of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and hosts West Indies were all ruled out at some stage owing to positive tests.
However, Canada are the first participants to be unable to field a team at all.
The sole North American nation at the event, Canada lost all three group outings against the United Arab Emirates, England and Bangladesh respectively to be consigned to the Plate competition—which involves the bottom two teams in each of the four World Cup groups.
Canada then lost by 94 runs to Ireland in the Plate quarterfinals and were due to face Scotland tomorrow at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
Their inability to field a team means that, ‘in accordance with the playing conditions, Scotland will progress to the 13th/14th playoff as a result of having a better net run-rate than Canada from all matches played’.
It is not clear who will be awarded the win in the game between Canada and Papua New Guinea, which was scheduled to decide the competition’s second-last and last places on Sunday.
West Indies are also in the Plate League but will not have a chance to lift silverware there either. The Rising Stars lost to the United Arab Emirates today in the Plate semifinal. The UAE will now challenge either Ireland or Zimbabwe for the Plate final, while West Indies will play the loser for 11th or 12th place.
In the more prestigious Super League competition, England and Afghanistan square off in one semifinal on 1 February while Australia, India and Bangladesh are also in the running to lift the World Cup trophy.
England defeated South Africa by six wickets on Wednesday, Afghanistan upset Sri Lanka with a victory by just four runs yesterday and today Australia convincingly got past Pakistan by 119 runs.