The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Thursday that the 2022 T20 World Cup qualifiers in Africa and Asia have been postponed due to Covid-19.
The Asia A Qualifier, which is two steps away from the 2022 T20 World Cup set to be played in Australia, was due to be hosted between April 3 and 9, 2021 involving Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It will now be played in Kuwait from October 23 to 29 this year.
“The decision was taken to postpone due to new restrictions being put in place by several participating countries to suspend sporting activities to limit the spread of the new Covid-19 variants therefore giving no opportunity for teams to sufficiently train. The other contributing factor was the extensive quarantine requirements for the visiting teams on their return to their respective countries,” said the ICC in a statement.
The Sub Regional Africa A and B Qualifiers, which are three steps away from the World Cup, were due to take place in South Africa in April 2021 and have been rescheduled to October 25-31 this year. Qualifier A involves Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland and Uganda and Qualifier B includes Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, St Helena and Tanzania. The ICC said that the postponements were confirmed as a result of the process undertaken for the its “comprehensive contingency planning of Covid-19 after consultation with members and with the relevant government and public health authorities”.
The 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.
In addition, the ICC under-19 men’s World Cup Asia Division 2 has been cancelled as Thailand are unable to host 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. “Oman and Singapore have now been promoted to the U19 men’s CWC Asia Qualifier scheduled in September in the United Arab Emirates, as a result of both teams having the best records in the previous five editions of the U19 men’s CWC qualifiers,” said the ICC.
The under-19 men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Division 2 Qualifier has been postponed to August 7-13 from June 2021 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Hosts Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone will all compete for two ICC under-19 men’s World Cup Africa Qualifier spots. The dates for the under-19 men’s World Cup Africa Qualifier have been confirmed as September 25 to October 1 and will be hosted by Nigeria with Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda also competing for one spot in the West Indies in early 2022.
The women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier, which is a qualifying tournament to the ICC women’s T20 World Cup 2023 has been rescheduled from October to September 3-11 2021 to ease regional calendar congestion involving hosts Botswana, Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.