DUBAI: The COVID-19 pandemic continued to take a toll on the sporting calendar with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday postponing this year's qualifying events for two separate tournaments due to the global health crisis.
The ICC has postponed September's Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 series to be hosted in Namibia and the U19 Cricket World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 due to take place in August in Tanzania.
The World Cup League 2 series, which was to be hosted in Namibia in September, was part of the qualification for the 2023 World Cup -- involving Namibia, Papua New Guinea and the United States, the ICC said in a statement.
The U19 World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 in Africa was due to take place in Tanzania between August 7 and 14, involving Botswana?, Kenya?, Mozambique?, Rwanda?, Sierra Leone and the host country.
The ICC said its priority continues to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community. "With ongoing international travel restrictions, global health concerns still prominent and on government and public health authority advice in relation to COVID-19 we have decided in partnership with members, to postpone two further qualifying events," ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said.
The game's governing body further said that the remaining U19 World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 event in Asia scheduled between December 1 and 9 in Thailand is being monitored and kept under review. The ICC on Monday postponed the T20 World Cup, which was originally scheduled to take place in October-November this year in Australia, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to this, the 2023 50-over World Cup in India was pushed from March-April to the November window to give more time for the qualification process.