Ireland will not take part in the next Women's Cricket World Cup after the qualification tournament in Zimbabwe was cancelled - and the three spots at the main event determined by world rankings.
It wasn't all bad news for Ed Joyce's side however, with Ireland awarded a top-five finish earning them the right to play in the next ICC Women's Championship - giving the team consistent matches against the world's best between 2022 and 2025.
Ireland will play in the expanded competition where they get to face off against the likes of Australia, England and India.
The Laura Delany-captained side were on track to reach the second round of the tournament in Harare after beating the Netherlands but organisers decided to call off the event to allow the teams to get out of region ahead of expected travel bans out of southern Africa.
Dramatically, the cancellation came as two matches were taking place - the USA vs Thailand and Pakistan vs Zimbabwe games continuing despite the event concluding prematurely.
The match between West Indies and Sri Lanka - who were due to play Ireland on Monday - was cancelled due to a Covid case among the Sri Lankan backroom team.
“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel the remainder of this event but with travel restrictions from a number of African countries being imposed at such short notice there was a serious risk that teams would be unable to return home," said ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley.
“We have explored a number of options to allow us to complete the event but it isn’t feasible and we will fly the teams out of Zimbabwe as soon as possible. Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies will now qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 by virtue of their rankings, whilst Sri Lanka and Ireland will also join them in the next cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship.”