LEAD Windies in Oman but route home, timelines unclear

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Members of the West Indies Women’s squad at the airport in Oman.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados- West Indies Women’s travel plans remained unclear Monday after the contingent arrived in the Gulf state of Oman from Zimbabwe, following the cancellation of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe last weekend.

A tweet from Cricket West Indies’ official account said Monday the contingent was now in Oman but did not indicate how long they were expected to remain there before flying out.

The Caribbean side is en route to the region. Still, it faces potentially tricky logistical challenges after several powerful nations slapped travel restrictions and bans on southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, due to discovering the new Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus.

From Monday, the United States said only its citizens and residents would be allowed in from southern Africa while several the United Kingdom and European Union states have followed suit.

The International Cricket Council abandoned the nine-team qualifying tournament on Saturday and hastened to fly teams out of Zimbabwe.

“The [International Cricket Council] have made all arrangements for the team and are working assiduously to get them home to the Caribbean as quickly and as safely as possible,” CWI tweeted.

Speaking at an event in St Kitts on Monday, CWI president Ricky Skerritt also confirmed the development, saying: “The West Indies Women are actually out of Africa at the moment, in the Middle East, and essentially on their way home.

“The ICC took a swift decision to discontinue the tournament.”

West Indies played only one game in the World Cup Qualifiers, beating Ireland Women by six wickets last week.

They were scheduled to face Sri Lanka in their second game on Saturday, but the match was abandoned after the Asian side’s support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

With the tournament’s cancellation, West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan will advance to next year’s showpiece in New Zealand as the highest-ranked teams.

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