Turkey have withdrawn from the European qualifying competition for the women's T20 World Cup, with the ICC confirming "the necessary approval and travel documentation required due to Covid-19 restrictions for the team was not able to be secured from the Turkish sports ministry".
The tournament starts tomorrow in Spain's La Manga, and will now be a five-team affair, featuring France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland.
"It is with great regret that Turkey will not be taking part in the Europe qualifier at La Manga," Andy Wright, the ICC's regional development manager for Europe, said in a statement. "We have been in communication with the [Turkish] federation over the past month to provide any assistance to secure their arrival into Spain in time for the event and would like to thank the federation for their efforts in trying to secure the documentation.
"We have worked closely with the remaining participating teams and the event will now be played as a five-team tournament. We are looking forward to seeing play getting underway tomorrow in what is still set to be a very competitive event."
The next - eighth - edition of the women's T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in South Africa; the tournament was originally slotted for late 2022, but has since been moved to February 2023. As the hosts, South Africa qualify directly for the tournament, and the seven other top-ranked teams will join them, with two more teams identified through qualifying events conducted around the world.
Australia are the defending T20 world champions, having beaten India in the final of the 2020 edition at MCG.