ICC postpones Men’s T20 WC 2022 regional qualifiers due to COVID-19 restrictions

Last Updated: Thursday, 18 March 2021 (14:51 IST)
Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday postponed the three Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Africa and Asia, which are pathway tournaments to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, due to COVID-19.

“The decision was taken to postpone due to new restrictions being put in place by several participating countries to suspend sporting activities to limit the spread of the new variants therefore giving no opportunity for teams to sufficiently train,” the ICC said in a statement.
 
“The other contributing factor was the extensive quarantine requirements for the visiting teams on their return to their respective countries,” it added.
 
The Asia A Qualifier which is two steps away from the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 was due to be hosted between April 3 and 9 involving Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar and Saudi Arabia has now been postponed and will be played in Kuwait between October 23 and 29.
 
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers which are three steps away from Australia 2022 were due to take place in South Africa in April 2021 and have been rescheduled to 25-31 October 2021.
 
Qualifier A involves Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland and Uganda and Qualifier B includes Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, St Helena and Tanzania.
 
“The postponements were confirmed as a result of the process undertaken for the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning of COVID-19 after consultation with Members and with the relevant government and public health authorities,” the cricket governing body said.
 
Consequently, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier is now confirmed to take place between November 24 and 27 in Nigeria involving Kenya, Nigeria, and the top teams from the Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers respectively.
 
In addition, the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Asia Division 2 has been cancelled as Thailand are unable to host due to COVID-19 restrictions and there is no other suitable hosting option.
 
Bhutan, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand were confirmed to participate in the Division 2 event.
 
Oman and Singapore have now been promoted to the U19 Men’s CWC Asia Qualifier scheduled in September in the United Arab Emirates, as a result of both teams having the best records in the previous five editions of the U19 Men’s CWC qualifiers.
 
Meanwhile, the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Division 2 Qualifier has been postponed to August 7-13 from June 2021 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions where hosts Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone will all compete for two ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Qualifier spots.
 
The dates for the U19 Men’s CWC Africa Qualifier have been confirmed as September 25 to October 1 and will be hosted by Nigeria with Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda also competing for one spot in the West Indies in early 2022.
 
The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier which is a qualifying tournament to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 has been rescheduled from October to September 3-11 2021 to ease regional calendar congestion involving hosts Botswana, Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
 
“As part of the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning process we have decided to postpone three Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 qualifying events and the Africa U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2 due to COVID-19. With a combination of restrictions in place in some participating countries limiting the opportunity for team preparation, as well as ongoing quarantine requirements and travel restrictions, there was no other option but to postpone and reschedule the events.
 
"As part of the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning process we have decided to postpone three Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 qualifying events and the Africa U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 2 due to COVID-19.
 
With a combination of restrictions in place in some participating countries limiting the opportunity for team preparation, as well as ongoing quarantine requirements and travel restrictions, there was no other option but to postpone and reschedule the events,” said Chris Tetley, ICC’s head of events.
 
“We will continue to monitor and assess all events across our pathway structures with the ICC’s priority continuing to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials and fans,” he added. (UNI)