Women's World Cup Qualifiers postponed in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak
The qualifiers for next year's Women's World Cup in New Zealand and the 2022 Under-19 World Cup have been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The International Cricket Council announced the decision on Tuesday as part of its "comprehensive contingency planning process and after consultation".
The women's qualifiers involving ten teams would have commenced in Sri Lanka on July 3 to determine the three available spots in the 2021 tournament. Five sides have already secured a berth in the showpiece 50-over event.
Meanwhile, qualifiers for the 2022 U-19 competition would have featured a European regional tournament in Denmark from July 24-30 but it has also been impacted by the virus.
"Our priority during this difficult period is to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community and we will take well-informed, responsible decisions in relation to both postponing events and resuming international cricket," said Chris Tetley, ICC head of events.
"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 U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 pathway."
"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. I would like to thank the Members for their cooperation and continued support."
This trend of postponing cricket contests has become the norm over the past couple of months given the current state of the global pandemic.
The ICC had earlier shut down qualifiers for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India and the 2023 50-over World Cup.
While the apex cricket body has communicated its willingness to go ahead with the T20 World Cup in Australia in October as planned, doubts remain over the feasibility of arranging such a high-profile event.