Cricket: Women's World Cup can go ahead at COVID-19 red light, Grant Robertson confirms

The 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup, hosted in New Zealand, can still go ahead as the country moves to the red light of the COVID-19 response framework, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says.

New Zealand's move to red from 11:59pm Sunday will result in sporting events being capped at 100 people if vaccinated, and 25 if unvaccinated.

But with the Cricket World Cup to begin on March 4, it's entirely conceivable that some of the tournament could be played at the red light setting, depending on how long New Zealand stays there.

Newshub can reveal that high level talks between the Government officials and the International Cricket Council were held last year, moving to allay any fears over the tournament's feasibility.

And with a nationwide lockdown looming as the biggest threat to stopping the tournament going ahead, as assurances were given that the tournament could and would go ahead - regardless of the pandemic's impact.

Speaking on Sunday following Prime Minister Jacinda Arden's press briefing, Minister Robertson says that steps have already been taken by tournament organisers to ensure the tournament can be played.

"Obviously we don't know how long this will last," Robertson says of the switch to the red light setting.

"The Women's Cricket World Cup organisers have been planning for the tournament to take place in the red setting, and it can absolutely do that."

Robertson adds that the limit on 100 people at events could also be expanded, and see smaller "pods" of up to 100 people congregating within the same event.

"Bear in mind, when we brought the red setting in, it is possible to use the defined space rules to have, effectively, pods of 100 people - as long as they can keep separate from one another and come in and out of the venue separately.

"I know the Women's Cricket World Cup team have been thinking about that - if it is necessary.

"But that is six to eight weeks away from the peak of the tournament, there's a lot of water to go under the bridge."

Along with the Women's World Cup, Newshub understands that the rest of New Zealand's upcoming home summer, including the domestic Super Smash Twenty20 finals, the Blackcaps' test series against South Africa, and White Ferns' series against India will go ahead behind closed doors.