Questions plenty concerning 2021 World Cup in New Zealand

Women's CricZone Staff
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Christchurch to host final, Auckland the opening match of ICC Women's World Cup 2021

Mithali Raj speaking at the revealing of host cities for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021. © ICC

After the International Cricket Council (ICC) officially postponed the men’s T20 World Cup on Monday (July 20) due to COVID-19 pandemic, which was slated to be held in Australia, a decision on the 2021 Women’s World Cup is on the card in the next fortnight, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have confirmed.

Although New Zealand has been declared COVID free, the future of the 50-over event remained in doubt after ICC stated they will ‘continue to evaluate the situation’ as far as the planning of the event is concerned

“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,” NZC chair Greg Barclay was quoted as saying to 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.”

Although large crowds have returned to the sporting events in the country, indicating full house for the World Cup, several questions pop up regarding the hurdles that need to be passed in getting all the teams in this part of the world.

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“How do you get teams travelling around the world, they've got to the 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,” Barclay said. “And of course, all of that comes with a cost and so there are budgetary implications heading into February.”

Questions also arise over the Qualifiers which has been postponed indefinitely and was scheduled to happen in Sri Lanka this month. Five teams -- hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India -- have already qualified for the main event while three are to be decided from the Qualifiers.

In case the Qualifiers don’t happen, one option that can be tried is – the remaining three teams in the ladder (Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka) automatically make it to the main event rather than fighting for a spot via a qualifying event featuring seven other teams including Bangladesh and Ireland.

While India have pulled out of the tri-series also featuring South Africa and hosts England to be held in September, Australia are due to host New Zealand in both limited-overs formats from late September. The Aussies will also host India for three ODIs in January, but no other women’s international cricket is currently scheduled. The cases have been on the rise every single day in countries like India and Pakistan, and with uncertainty over when players can start training, it will put the Asian powerhouses in a big disadvantage over their rivals.

Another immediate concern that will pop up if the World Cup is postponed is the contract of Australia head coach Matthew Mott. The former Ireland coach is currently contracted till the scheduled 2021 event.