Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday postponed the qualifying events for the 2021 Women's World Cup and the 2022 men's Under-19 showpiece in July owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The women's event, from 3-19 July in Sri Lanka, was to feature 10 teams — the hosts, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, United States, West Indies, and Zimbabwe. Three out of these could have qualified for the World Cup in New Zealand next year.
"...after consultation with members and with the relevant government and public health authorities, the decision has been taken to postpone the qualifier to the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 and the start of the qualification pathway to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022," an ICC press release stated.
The start of the journey to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 was scheduled to begin with the European Regional Qualifier in Denmark between 24 and 30 July.
The ICC will consult participating members to figure when these events can be staged.
ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said: "In light of the continuing travel restrictions, global health concerns and government and public health authority advice we have decided to postpone two further upcoming qualifying events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the Europe qualifier to the U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 have both been impacted."
Well-being of players is paramount, said Tetley.
"Our priority during this difficult period is to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community and we will take well-informed, responsible decisions..."
The two remaining ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 events are being monitored and kept under review.
The Africa event is due to take place in Tanzania between 7 and 14 August and the Asia event between 1 and 9 December in Thailand. The Division 1 events in all five regions are scheduled to take place in 2021.
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