New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has withdrawn their team from the 2022 Under-19 50-over World Cup, set to be played in West Indies. The shocking decision was confirmed by NZC on Thursday (November 18). The primary reason for the withdrawal from the showpiece event was the extensive Mandatory Quarantine Restrictions (MQI) the players had to undergo after returning home.
This will be the first time in the tournament’s 14- year long history that New Zealand will not compete in the Under-19 World Cup. NZC head of communications Richard Boock admitted that it was a disappointing decision for the players but also an appropriate one considering various factors and combinations.
“Some of these guys in the under-19 setups can be as young as 16,” Boock said according to Stuff.
“We didn’t think it was appropriate to force young people to undergo MIQ.”
The players upon their return to New Zealand would have to undergo quarantine by themselves without the support of their families and friends. They would only have had a digital medium of communication with them. NZC felt it would have been harsh on the minors considering how mentally drained and worn out they would have been after playing in the showpiece event. Boock said the players were not involved in the decision.
Instead of participating in the global tournament, the New Zealand development team will be selected to play matches against Major Associate A teams in January. Scotland will now replace New Zealand in the tournament, set to be played from January 14 to February 5. 16 teams are competing in the tournament, with the Qualifiers set to be held between January 9 to 12 in Guyana. Bangladesh are the defending champions of the Under-19 50-over World Cup.