The ICC Women’s ODI World Cup, due to take place in New Zealand from February to March, has been postponed as announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) body. The Women’s tournament became the second global cricketing event to be deferred in the last two months. Last month, the ICC confirmed the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia has been postponed.
“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,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement following the ICC Board Meeting held via teleconference last week.
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The decision to delay the 12th edition of the tournament was taken at the meeting with the hosting nation and other cricket board. “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 statement added.
Unlike the other major tournament postponed because of the threat of the global pandemic, the cricket competition was as postponed by a year due to the lack of preparations, according to the event’s CEO Andrea Nelson. “It came down to the ability of the teams to qualify,” Nelson told a NZ news portal. The qualifiers were supposed to be held in July, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
“We’ve done a lot of contingency planning around this event, to give it the best possible chance of proceeding successfully – ultimately the decision to delay it comes down to cricket,” Nelson added. “No qualifying tournaments have been able to be held yet, so in order to qualify and then compete in the event in 2021 – it was too risky.”
The postponement means women’s calendar will now have two events in 2022 as a T20 World Cup is also slotted to take place in South Africa. The said event will now take place in 2021 with a venue to be announced later. Earlier, the ICC postponed the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia following the threats of the pandemic. However, it is not clear if the postponed edition will still be held in Australia.
BCCI was originally scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in 2021. However, Cricket Australia will likely insist to host the tournament in October 2021 as it had already started preparations and wouldn’t like to wait for two years. There is also a good chance that the eight-team Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand in February-March 2021 will go ahead as scheduled.
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