The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that the three upcoming series in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 due to take place between March and May, have been postponed because of COVID-19.
The Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 which forms part of the qualifying pathway to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, was scheduled to see 18 One Day Internationals (ODIs) played across the sixth, seventh and eighth series of the competition.
As part of the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning process across all ICC events and after consultation with Members and with the relevant government and public health authorities, the decision has been taken to postpone all three series.
The postponed series included table-toppers Oman who were due to host the second-placed USA and seventh-placed Nepal for six ODIs between 19 and 28 March 2021. The seventh series of the competition scheduled PNG who sit at the foot of the standings to host Oman and third-placed Scotland between 14 and 24 April 2021. The final series which will need to be rescheduled was to see PNG play host again, with the USA and fourth-placed Namibia traveling to the Pacific to play six ODIs between 13 and 23 May 2021.
The postponements are due to the current travel restrictions between countries, the quarantine time required before matches, and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The ICC will now work with hosts and participating Members to find an appropriate window where the qualification pathway fixtures can be safely and practically rescheduled before the cut-off date of 28 February 2023. The window for rescheduling fixtures has been extended to the latest possible date to provide the best opportunity for qualification to be determined on the field of play.
“We have decided to postpone the three upcoming series involving six Members in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 competition. The ICC’s priority continues to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, and fans. We have fully assessed the situation with both hosts and all participating Members, and taking into account current travel restrictions, quarantine time before matches, and on government and public health authority advice in relation to COVID-19, the best course of action was to postpone these series.
“We are actively working with Members to identify suitable windows to reschedule the three series. We are likely to face more challenges over the coming months but will continue to try and maximize the opportunity for Members to qualify on the field of play,” ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said.
The next series scheduled in the competition is in July 2021 where Scotland are due to host Nepal and Namibia for six ODIs.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 is a three-and-half-year competition involving seven teams that are two steps away from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. At the culmination of the 21 tri-series, the top three teams in the standings will confirm their place in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023.
The bottom four teams will drop into the Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-Off 2023 – which is a repechage event to the Global Qualifier – and will be joined by the winner of Challenge League A and B. The top two teams from the Play-Off will keep their hopes alive of participating in India 2023, by qualifying for the Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023. Click here for the Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification pathway.