ICC wants a biosecurity manager for 2021 Women's World Cup

Could we see a full Eden Park at the 2021 Women's World Cup? For now, in-ground fans remain in the plans Getty Images

The ICC is looking for a biosecurity manager for the women's 50-over World Cup, as planning continues for an event around which there remains a fair amount of uncertainty. The World Cup is scheduled to take place in New Zealand in February and March 2021, but the ICC is yet to officially take a call on its status, although the Board will meet on Friday to discuss this and other ICC events.

It is not necessary that a decision on the tournament has to be taken then, especially as there is still some distance to be covered between now and the tournament. But plenty remains to be done, not least a place to host the qualifiers - postponed indefinitely from July 2020 in Sri Lanka because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As of now, only England, Australia, South Africa, India and hosts New Zealand are confirmed participants; three more spots are to be filled via the qualifiers. The UAE has come up in discussions as a venue, though the IPL window, which runs until November 10, squeezes that option a little.

Biosecurity protocols have already been drawn up by the World Cup's organising committee, in consultation with the ICC, New Zealand Cricket, and the New Zealand government. It's understood that the role of the biosecurity manager would be to implement those. One part of that plan would involve teams arriving two weeks earlier than planned. Quarantine regulations in New Zealand currently require a two-week isolation period after entering the country. Teams were originally expected to arrive in New Zealand towards the end of January, but an earlier arrival would impact cost considerations for the tournament.

For the moment, planning for the tournament involves fans at the ground. New Zealand has been one of the countries least affected worldwide by the pandemic, and following a strict lockdown that began in March, is now all but virus-free (New Zealand's ministry of health website recorded figures for August 5 as 24 active cases, with two changes in the count in the previous 24 hours). Spectators have been present at rugby games in the country, without limitation, since mid-June and there are few restrictions once visitors have completed their two-week quarantine.

Tickets are not yet on sale for the tournament and, unless late developments change things, they are likely to go on sale sometime in September or October.