Women’s World Cup 2021: Qualifier postponed because of coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic previously forced the cancellation of Ireland’s scheduled tour of Thailand in April

The qualifying tournament for next year’s Women’s World Cup has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event – featuring 10 teams, including Ireland – was due to take place in Sri Lanka from 3-19 July.

Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also involved.

Three teams will qualify to join England, Australia, South Africa, India and hosts New Zealand in the World Cup, scheduled for February and March 2021.

The other teams in the Qualifier, who made it through regional qualification tournaments, are Zimbabwe, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands and the United States.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also postponed the start of the qualification process for the men’s Under-19 World Cup in 2022, with regional qualifying set to begin in Denmark in July.

“We will work in partnership with the members to find an appropriate window to reschedule these events as soon as is safe and practical to do so,” said ICC head of events Chris Tetley.

“Our priority during this difficult period is to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community and we will take well-informed, responsible decisions in relation to both postponing events and resuming international cricket.”

Ireland head coach Ed Joyce said: “The chance to qualify for a World Cup is always a big moment in a player’s career.

“The fixture schedule is going to be busy for all nations given the postponements, and we’ll need to develop a preparation programme in the lead-up to the tournament, so we hope the ICC can give ample notification of the new dates.

“It is a challenging time for everyone, but we have a resilient young squad and I know they’ll be dedicated to the task once we’re back under way.”

There will be no cricket in England and Wales until at least July.

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