The ICC Men's T20 World Cup scheduled to be held later this year will now be held in 2022 in Australia, with India retaining its right to host the 2021 T20 World Cup. India will also host the 2023 ICC Men's 50-over World Cup. The ICC also decided to postpone the Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held in New Zealand in 2021, to February-March 2022 due to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decisions were taken in an ICC executive board meeting held via video conference. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly represented the Board at the meeting.
Announcing these decisions in a press release issued late evening today, ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney said, “We now have absolute clarity on the future of ICC events enabling all of our Members to focus on the rescheduling of lost international and domestic cricket. We will now proceed as planned with the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India and host the 2022 edition in Australia."
The ICC board, in its previous meeting last month, had decided to reschedule the men's events. BCCI was keen on sticking with the 2021 edition awarded to it earlier as it did not want to host two ICC events back-to-back, with the Men's 50-over World Cup, too, scheduled to take place in India, in 2023. Two events so close to each other would be logistically and commercially challenging, the Board felt.
Interestingly, India looks in no position to hold even a domestic competition for another few months, with the BCCI having to move the Indian Premier League to UAE due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Australia, meanwhile, is set to host the Women's Big Bash League in September.
The ICC had, however, not announced any postponement of the Women's World Cup in its last meeting but with teams like India yet to even resume training and underprepared for the big event, the tournament will now take place a year later in 2022. This, even though host New Zealand has been one of the first countries in the world to be "bio-secure".
Citing the fact that there has been no women's competitive cricket since the T20 World Cup played in February-March this year, Sawhney said, “We have taken the decision to move the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to give players from every competing nation, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage and there is still a global qualifier to complete to decide the final three teams. There has been no women’s international cricket played since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and due to the varying impact of COVID-19 globally that is likely to remain the situation for a number of the teams. Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup so that the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”
The format for all the ICC events remains unchanged, the ICC said, but a new qualification process for the 2022 T20 World Cup Down Under will be announced in due course. The qualification event to decide final three teams for the Women's World Cup will now take place in 2021—it was scheduled to be held this year.