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Canadian team sidelined by COVID at ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Caribbean

A COVID-19 outbreak has sidelined the Canadian team at the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.

A COVID-19 outbreak has sidelined the Canadian team at the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.

The International Cricket Council said Friday that nine Canada players have tested positive, resulting in the team having to sit out the rest of the tournament because it doesn't have enough available players to continue on.

The players are isolating at the team hotel and being monitored by medical staff. Cricket Canada president Rashpal Bajwa said the nine players are without symptoms.

Canada’s playoff semifinal with Scotland in consolation Plate play, scheduled for Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago, has been cancelled with the Scots progressing to the 13th/14th playoff as a result of having a better net run-rate than Canada. The 15th/16th place playoff that would have pitted Canada against either Uganda or Papua New Guinea has also been shelved.

“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," Chris Tetley, the ICC's head of events, said in a statement. 

"We were expecting to see some positive cases throughout the event and to date these have been managed in accordance with our biosafety 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."

Players from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the West Indies and Zimbabwe have also tested positive in the buildup to or during the tournament, which runs through Feb. 5 in 10 venues across four Caribbean islands. New Zealand opted to skip the competition due to quarantine restrictions back home.

Canada last played Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago, losing to Ireland by 94 runs in Plate play in Tarouba.

Canada dropped into the consolation round after losing Pool A matches to the United Arab Emirates, England and defending champion Bangladesh in St. Kitts and Nevis. 

The top two teams in the four opening-round groups advanced to the Super League while the remaining 12 moved into Plate play at the tournament.

Canada, which beat out Argentina, Bermuda and the U.S. to get in, was making its fifth straight appearance — eighth overall — at the tournament. Its best showing was 11th in 2010.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28 2022.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press