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Meg Lanning: Nine players at the World Cup would be 'interesting'

The tournament will take place against steeply rising Covid cases in New Zealand

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against England  •  Getty Images

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against England  •  Getty Images

Meg Lanning has labelled the ICC's emergency World Cup rules as "interesting" but stopped short of criticising the governing body as the tournament nears.
Australia face England on February 5 to begin their quest to reclaim the 50-over ODI World Cup, lost to the English five years ago.
As host nation New Zealand grapples with its worst Covid-19 outbreak of the pandemic, organisers have scrambled to put in place rules that will allow the tournament to continue should players get infections.
The most eye-catching is a regulation that teams can take to the field with just nine players and utilise up to two staff in fielding roles to ensure matches get played.
"I've asked our physio and media manager what their preferred fielding position was if they were to take the field," Lanning said, only half-joking. "Hopefully it doesn't come to that for any team. It's an interesting way to go about it.
"If that did occur I think it'd be a pretty interesting situation. Hopefully for everyone in the tournament we don't get to that point."
New Zealand reported 12,011 community Covid-19 cases on Friday, double the previous day's count, ahead of an expected outbreak peak during the event. The government and ICC have issued strict biosecurity rules in an attempt to shield players from catching the virus.
Asked whether the tournament should have been moved from New Zealand, Lanning said she "hadn't thought about that at all", offering her sympathy to the hosts. The ICC have also confirmed they will look to re-schedule fixtures in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks affecting squads.
"It would be a nightmare trying to organise these tournaments," she said. "We want to get cricket in. That's the most important thing. Teams are going to have to be very flexible and understanding of things that are happening at really short notice.
"Hopefully if this or that does happen, you can have a bit of a conversation around things and discuss what the options are and I'm sure that the the ICC will be making the best decision for the World Cup and making sure the games can continue on."