Dubai: The 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in New Zealand, has been postponed until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICC said on Friday.
The decision to postpone the 12th edition of the premier 50-over tournament was taken at the ICC Board Meeting which was held via teleconference on Friday.
"The ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand has been postponed until February March 2022 because of the impact the pandemic has had on cricket globally," the ICC said in statement.
The ICC also confirmed that India would be hosting the Men's T20 World Cup in 2021 while Australia will host the postponed edition in 2022.
The decisions were taken by the IBC (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC) following an extensive contingency planning exercise which has taken into account the health, cricket and commercial impact of COVID-19 around the world.
New Zealand were scheduled to host the Women's World Cup from February 6 to March 7 next year. The Women's World Cup has become the 2nd major ICC event to be postponed due to the pandemic after the global cricket body confirmed the postponement of T20 World Cup 2020 in July.
''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.
''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,'' he added.
The ICC also said that 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 original global qualification event to determine the final three teams to contest the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup was scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in July 2020, but this was postponed due to COVID-19. The qualification event will now be held in 2021.(UNI)