Decision on 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in next two weeks

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AUCKLAND: With the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponing the Men’s T20 World Cup because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand Cricket chairperson Greg Barclay has stated that a decision on the 2021 Women’s World Cup will be made in the next two weeks.

“The decision will be made in the next two weeks, it simply has to be because if there is a need to postpone that event then obviously we need to know that sooner rather than later,” Barclay told Radio NZ.

“Likewise, if it is to go ahead then we need to make a final decision so that we can throw all the resources necessary to run a first-class world event in February.”

The 50-over tournament, involving eight teams is scheduled to be run between February 6 and March 7 next year at six venues in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The ICC, having dilly-dallied over the last couple of months, on Monday finally announced that the 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15 has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Barclay, however, said that New Zealand could be the only country in the world capable of hosting major sports events at full stadiums. But he conceded there are a few hurdles to clear before they commit to hosting the tournament next summer.

“How do you get teams travelling around the world, they’ve got to hub through other countries and so what are the implications of that and then getting them through the quarantine restrictions that may be in place and of course all of that comes with a cost and so there are budgetory implications heading into February all of that is surmountable,” he said.

A total of 31 matches will be played in the tournament with New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India the teams qualified. The eight-team round robin format will see all teams play each other, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.