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'If necessary, we'll allow teams in Women's World Cup to field nine players'

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The ICC has amended its playing conditions to ensure the Women's World Cup goes on smoothly, making room for the possibility of a covid outbreak. In a quest to remain as flexible as possible to ensure the tournament goes on seamlessly, the board announced on Thursday that it would allow a team of just nine players to be fielded as an exception, and let two non-batting, non-bowling substitutes from the support staff, if required.

"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," ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said.

Teams that will be at the showpiece event in New Zealand from next month have also been allowed the chance to travel with additional reserves, who can be brought in, in cases of covid emergencies.

"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.

"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 travelling 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-19 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," Tetley added.

The ICC has also decided that there will be an unlimited number of Super Overs to decide tied matches. The World Cup kicks off in Tauranga on March 4 with a game between the hosts New Zealand and West Indies, with the final taking place in Christchurch on April 3.

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