ICC shuts down World Cup qualifiers till July
Cricket's governing body postponed a swathe of qualifiers for next year's Twenty20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup on Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on international sport.
All qualifiers scheduled to take place before July in Kuwait, South Africa, Namibia, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Belgium, Malaysia and Finland are affected, a statement said.
"The decision has been taken in conjunction with members and in line with the relevant government and public health authority advice," the International Cricket Council said.
ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said: “In light of the significant global health concerns at the current time and the restrictions on movement imposed by governments across the world, the ICC has taken the decision to postpone all events up until the end of June subject to further review.
“Our commitment to the health and safety of players, officials, staff and fans is our priority when taking these decisions and we must act responsibly in the best interests of all involved and be guided by official advice. We felt that now was the right time to take a prudent decision on these events before further planning is undertaken and to provide clarity to everyone involved.
“Work will continue on contingency plans and options for both men’s qualification pathways. We will provide updates in due course on these plans and decisions on the staging of the remaining events this year. I would like to thank all hosts and participating Members for their support and understanding in reaching this position and we are unified in our hopes and intention to get cricket back on as soon as is safe and practical to do so.”
India will host the T20 World Cup, a revamped version of the former Champions Trophy, in October-November of 2021. It is not to be confused with this year's T20 World Cup in Australia.
India will also hold the 50-over World Cup in 2023.
This year's Indian Premier League, the world's richest cricket league, is one of the many sports events worldwide to be postponed including the Tokyo Olympics, which have been delayed until next year.
The ICC said this year's remaining qualifiers are being "continually monitored".
Feature image courtesy: AFP /