The ICC has postponed the Women's World Cup Qualifier 2021 and the Under-19 World Cup Qualifier 2022 Europe Division 2 in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, saying in a media statement on Tuesday that "consultation with Members and with the relevant government and public health authorities" had helped them make the decision.
Sri Lanka were scheduled to host the women's qualifier from July 3 to July 19, the ten-team tournament from which three would have progressed to the main event in New Zealand next year. The Under-19 event was set to begin with the European Regional Qualifier in Denmark from July 24 to July 30.
ICC head of events Chris Tetley said that the body would work with the participating members to identify future dates for both tournaments. "These are both important events with the Women's CWC Qualifier one step away from New Zealand 2021 and the Europe qualifier which signifies the start of the U-19 Cricket World Cup 2022 pathway," Tetley said. "We will work in partnership with the Members to find an appropriate window to reschedule these events as soon as is safe and practical to do so."
Ed Joyce, Ireland Women's head coach, said special preparation would be needed to be tournament-ready post the Covid-19 lockdown. "We had a lead-in programme in place for the Qualifier before the pandemic hit, but - like everyone else - we've had to adapt quickly to lockdown conditions," he said. "We have continued fitness programmes and held numerous team learning sessions via video-conferencing over the last two months, but despite the opportunities that these sessions offer, there is no substitute to getting out and playing.
"The fixture schedule ahead is certainly going to be a busy one for all cricket nations given the postponements, and we'll need to develop a preparation programme in the lead up to the tournament, so we hope the ICC can give ample notification of the new dates."
Meanwhile, the ICC is also keeping tabs on the two remaining Under-19 World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 tournaments: the Africa event is due to take place in Tanzania from July 7 to August 14 and the Asia event from December 1 to December 9 in Thailand. The Division 1 events in all five regions are scheduled to take place in 2021.