Hong Kong has lost hosting rights for the inaugural men's Cricket World Cup Challenge League B, because of "the ongoing demonstrations within the city of Hong Kong". The tournament will now be played in Oman between December 2 and 12.
The ICC, in a statement, explained that the political instability in Hong Kong had resulted "in logistical challenges and therefore [affected] the smooth running of the event", which has been postponed by a week from its original start date.
"We have worked extremely closely with Cricket Hong Cricket and our security advisors to assess the changing situation in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing demonstrations, the consequential safety concerns and potential for disruption to event arrangements, we have decided the best course of action is to relocate the event," ICC head of events Chris Tetley said in a statement.
"The Men's CWC Challenge League B is one of three events over the next two and half years that these teams will compete in, with the aim of qualifying for the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. I would like to thank Oman Cricket for stepping in to host this important event and I look forward to seeing a competitive, exciting competition in December. In the meantime we hope that conditions return to normal as quickly as possible in Hong Kong and we hope to have the opportunity to stage another event there in the future."
Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda will travel to Oman to take part in the 15-game event, which is the first of three Challenge League B competitions leading up to the 2023 World Cup, to be played in India.
The Challenge Leagues, A and B, are part of a number of new pathway events announced by the ICC in the lead-up to World Cup 2023. The top team in each Challenge League will secure a place in the men's World Cup qualifier playoffs, to be held in 2022, alongside the bottom four teams from the World Cup League 2. The top two teams from those playoffs will then take part in the final qualifiers in 2022, alongside eight other teams coming through from the ODI Super League and World Cup League 2.
For more details on the pathway to World Cup 2023, click here.