ICC postpones Women’s Cricket World Cup to 2022
Three major women’s cricket tournaments will now take place in 2022.
The Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, the inclusion of the women’s game at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and now a rescheduled 50 over World Cup makes it a blockbuster year for women’s cricket.
The coronavirus pandemic has indeed brought about major alterations to the sporting calendar. The 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand which would have ordinarily been staged between 6th February and 7th March, will have to wait a further 12 months.
Meanwhile, the ICC announced that the Australia edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup is also deferred until 2022. India will host the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup, as planned.
England are the defending champions for the Women’s World Cup, having edged India in a tense final in 2017. India will be captained with the evergreen Mithali Raj, who recently quit T20 international cricket to preserve her energies for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
India were automatic entrants into the tournament, along with England, Australia, South Africa and hosts New Zealand. The final 3 teams will be determined by a qualifying contest with 10 participating teams. It was supposed to be held in July of 2020 in Sri Lanka but will now happen sometime in 2021.
Preparation is key
The ladies have been out of action since March and are understandably short of match fitness. Competitive cricket was last played in the box-office T20 World Cup final on Women’s Day.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney explained the need for deferring the events. “We have taken the decision to move the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to give players, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage.
“There has been no women’s international cricket played since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year due to the varying impact of COVID-19 globally. Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket leading into a Cricket World Cup. Thus the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”
Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Mount Maunganui and Hamilton are the venues zeroed in for the competition. New Zealand Cricket [NZC] has been working towards installing floodlights at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, to host the final.