ICC Women’s World cup, slated to be held in New Zealand next year, has been postponed until February-March 2022 because of COVID-19 pandemic confirmed the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday, August 7.
The ICC board also confirmed that the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2020, which was also postponed due to the pandemic, will now be held in Australia in 2022 and India will host the 2021 T20 World cup as scheduled.
The confirmation clears the air of uncertainty over India hosting the T20 World Cup next year due to its failure to meet the first deadline for securing tax exemptions from the Central government.
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.
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.”
Opportunity to prepare
ICC Chief reasoned that the decision to postpone Women’s World Cup was taken to give players best opportunity to be prepared for the quadrennial event.
“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,” Sawhney added.
The ICC board also confirmed that format of the postponed Women’s World Cup and the Men’s T20 World Cup in India will remain the same.
Five team England, Australia, South Africa, India and hosts New Zealand have already qualified for the Women’s World Cup due to be played at grounds in Christchurch, Auckland, Mount Maunganui, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.
The remaining three teams for the eight-team marquee event will be determined by the qualifiers featuring 10 teams in Sri Lanka in 2021.
The postponement of Women’s World Cup to 2022 will make it third major women’s tournament to be held in 2022, in addition to Women’s T20 World Cup and Commonwealth Games.