The International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken the decision to postpone and re-schedule three Qualifiers in Africa and Asia due to the recent surge in covid-19 cases. These three tournaments – Asia A Qualifier, Sub Regional Africa A, and B Qualifiers – are the road for teams to the 2022 T20 World Cup which will take place in Australia.
According to a release by the governing body, the competitions have been postponed due to newfound strains of the COVID-19 virus, and also the logistical issues surrounding quarantining a huge number of players and maintaining them in the bio-bubble.
Asia A Qualifier to be played amongst Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia was originally scheduled between April 3-9 will now be played in Kuwait between October 23 and 29. The Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers will be played out in South Africa between October 25 and 31 shifted from April.
Qualifier A involves Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Uganda; Qualifier B will be competed between Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, St Helena, and Tanzania.
After the conclusion of these tournaments, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier will be held between November 24 and 27 in Nigeria involving Kenya, Nigeria, and the top teams from the Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers respectively.
“The postponements were confirmed as a result of the process undertaken for the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning of COVID-19 after consultation with members and with the relevant government and public health authorities,” the ICC said in a released statement.
“The ICC men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier is now confirmed to take place between 24 and 27 November in Nigeria involving Kenya, Nigeria, and the top teams from the Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers respectively to allow sufficient time for the sub-regional qualifiers to be completed,” the statement added.
ICC postpones several qualifying tournaments in Asia and Africa
Also, the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Division 2 Qualifier has been put off to August from June and the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier has been postponed by a month is now re-scheduled in October.
In addition to the above postponements, the ICC U19 men’s World Cup Asia Division 2 has been scrapped as Thailand will be unable to host the tournament due to COVID-19 restrictions and there is no other suitable hosting option.
Bhutan, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand were confirmed to participate in the Division 2 event. As a result of the cancellation of the tournament, Oman and Singapore have now been promoted to the U19 Men’s CWC Asia Qualifier scheduled in September in the United Arab Emirates; both teams having the best records in the previous five editions of the U19 men’s CWC qualifiers.
The ICC U19 Men’s World Cup Africa Division 2 Qualifier has been put back to August 7-13 from June 2021 due to travel restrictions. The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier, a pathway tournament to the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup has been rescheduled to October to 3-11 from September.