The International Business Corporation, the business development wing of the International Cricket Council (ICC), met via a video conference earlier today to take a call on the upcoming ICC events. They have decided that the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which was initially scheduled to take place in New Zealand from February 6 to March 7, 2021, will be postponed to 2022.
Earlier, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women’s World Cup qualifiers had to be scrapped, and Australia, England, South Africa, and India secured direct qualification to the event along with New Zealand, who, by virtue of being hosts, automatically qualified for the event. It has been said that the Qualifiers will now be played in 2021.
The other significant decision taken by the ICC was the hosting rights for the two following Men’s T20 World Cups. It has been decided that India will retain the hosting rights for 2021 as scheduled, while Australia has been offered to host the 2022 edition.
The decisions were taken by the IBC today following an extensive contingency planning exercise which has taken into account the health, cricket and commercial impact of COVID-19 around the world.
ICC Acting Chairman Imran Khwaja said, “Over the last few months as we have considered how we return to staging global events, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in ICC events. The decisions the Board have taken today are in the best interests of the sport, our partners and importantly our fans. I’d like to thank our partners at the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket New Zealand as well as the Australian and New Zealand governments for their continued support and commitment to a safe return to ICC events.”
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ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said, “We now have absolute clarity on the future of ICC events enabling all of our Members to focus on the rescheduling of lost international and domestic cricket. We will now proceed as planned with the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India and host the 2022 edition in Australia.
“We have taken the decision to move the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to give players from every competing nation, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage and there is still a global qualifier to complete to decide the final three teams.
“There has been no women’s international cricket played since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and due to the varying impact of COVID-19 globally that is likely to remain the situation for a number of the teams. Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup so the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”
The format of the postponed ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will remain as it was for 2021. Five teams have already qualified for the event, and that will stand for 2022.
The same will go for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, the format will remain as it was for 2020. All teams that qualified for that event will now participate in India in 2021. A new qualification process will be implemented for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.