ISLAMABAD, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani cricket fans and sports analysts on Sunday welcomed the decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow Pakistan women's cricket team to qualify for the Cricket World Cup 2022 after the qualifiers were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier on Saturday, the ICC called off the qualifying matches being held in Zimbabwe after the travel restrictions from several African countries, including the host, after the breakout of a new COVID-19 variant in the region.
The qualifiers were decided according to the team rankings allowing Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies to progress to the mega event to be played in New Zealand next year.
A cricket fan Bilal Munir told Xinhua on Sunday that the ICC took the right step to decide about qualifications on the basis of team rankings.
"We should continue to hold sports events but lives are more important. The cancellation of the qualifiers is a rightful decision," said Munir, adding that the Pakistani team would perform impressively in the tournament.
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said that the qualifiers were cancelled because there was a serious risk that teams would be unable to return home due to travel restrictions from a number of African countries.
"We have explored a number of options to allow us to complete the event but it isn't feasible. Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies will now qualify for the ICC Women's World Cup 2022 by virtue of their rankings," added Tetley.