Qualifying events for the 2022 Men's Under-19 World Cup have been cancelled for the Americas, Asia and East-Asia Pacific regions, due to complications arising out of Covid-19. This means that Canada, UAE and Papua New Guinea (PNG) make it through to the main event, which is set to be played in the West Indies in early 2022. An ICC statement said the three teams progress "on the basis of them securing the most wins in the last five U-19 qualifying events in each respective region".
The statement also said that the ICC has in place member-approved Covid-19 guidelines for the running of all pathway events, and these could not be met ahead of the qualifying tournaments, leading to their cancellation. For the U-19 events, the statement said, the guidelines take into account "the duty of care required for minors" and "clearly outline the parameters under which the events can or can't go ahead due to Covid restrictions".
"Under the member-approved guidelines, where teams have withdrawn due to the impact caused by the pandemic, we had no other alternative but to cancel these three events," ICC's head of events, Chris Tetley, said. "We have worked closely with all members to try to ensure results can be determined on the field of play, however for these events it was not possible. Canada, UAE and PNG will all progress ... in line with the decision taken by the ICC Board in November 2020 in relation to cancelled qualifying events."
Qualifying events for two regions remain to be played: Europe and Africa. Both tournaments are scheduled to be played in September-October and, again due to the impact of the virus, the Africa tournament has been shifted to Rwanda from Nigeria. Ireland, Jersey, Netherlands and Scotland will contest the Europe competition, while Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are lined up for the Africa edition. The top team from each tournament will make it to the World Cup.
The U-19 World Cup is set for its 14th edition, with Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe already having qualified.
Earlier in the day, the ICC had announced that Turkey had pulled out of the Europe qualifier for the 2023 Women's T20 World Cup due to Covid-19 complications.