2021 World Cup could be behind closed doors: Reports  

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2021 World Cup could be behind closed doors: Reports  
The much-anticipated 2021 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand could be played with no crowds and in a bio-secure environment, according to reports in BBC Sports. The assumption comes in after the organisers of the tournament are seen advertising for a ‘bio-security’ manager for the mega event scheduled for February and March.

Although the ICC has postponed the men’s T20 World Cup this year in Australia due to coronavirus pandemic, it went ahead with the 2021 mega extravaganza as planned. The apex body is understood to be evaluating at a range of options in proper consultations with stakeholders, national governments and health experts. The ICC board meeting is on Friday (August 7).

In case the Women’s World Cup is postponed, it would leave ICC in a hotchpotch with the men’s T20 World Cups planned for both 2021 and 2022, and women’s T20 cricket set to be part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. To add more to that, the venue of the 2021 World Cup qualifying tournament is yet to be announced, which was slated to happen in Sri Lanka in July, but postponed due to pandemic.

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Hosts New Zealand, India, Australia, South Africa and England have already cemented their place for the February-March event while the qualifying event – featuring 10 teams, including Ireland – will give the final three of the eight teams which will take part in the tournament proper.

In the advertisement for the bio-security manager, tournament organisers have put in that they are looking for someone to ‘lead the planning, development and delivery of a safe and secure environment for all tournament participants, including staff and suppliers, and the New Zealand public’. It clearly states that the ICC is taking the go-slow approach and is looking at all the options available becoming coming into a solution.

If the tournament does go ahead behind closed doors, it would be a stark contrast to the Women's T20 World Cup earlier this year, when more than 86,000 people saw hosts Australia defeat India in the final in Melbourne.

As of Tuesday (August 4), New Zealand had no current confirmed cases of coronavirus. The World Cup is due to be played at grounds in Christchurch, Auckland, Mount Maunganui, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.