The Cricket World Cup League 2 series that was being played at Windhoek’s Wanderers Cricket Ground was abruptly called off on Friday after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to close its borders to travellers from southern Africa.
This follows the outbreak of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in South Africa a few days ago.
The series was being contested between Namibia, Oman and the UAE as part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-overs World Cup 2023 qualifiers, and was set to run from Friday until 5 December.
Both Oman and the UAE will depart home tonight.
Only two matches were played between Namibia and Oman on Friday and Saturday, with Namibia winning one by 40 runs and losing the other when Oman won by 9 runs.
Cricket Namibia marketing manager Natalia Nauyoma told New Era Sport on Sunday that the event was cancelled as restrictions issued by the UAE will not allow UAE citizens to travel out of the country, and travellers from southern Africa will likewise not enter that country.
“Namibia will still compete at a competition set for next year in that same country. The ICC has not yet confirmed the countries that will compete at that event, but the competition is slated for February,” she added.
Meanwhile, Oman Cricket chairman Pankaj Khimji told Times of Oman that they are following the necessary protocols to ensure they curb the spread of the virus.
“The team is following the necessary protocols and taking all precautions advised with regards to Covid-19- appropriate behaviour. We are coordinating with the ICC as our team is flying back to Oman since the remainder of the Tri-nations series has been called off, “ said Khimji.