Cricket: Women's ODI World Cup in New Zealand postponed until 2022

The women's 50-over Cricket World Cup that was scheduled to be held in New Zealand in February and March next year has been postponed to 2022 as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport's governing International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Saturday (NZ time).

The International Cricket Council has also announced Australia will host this year's postponed men's Twenty20 World Cup in 2022, with India retaining their tournament next year.

"We now have absolute clarity on the future of ICC events, enabling all of our members to focus on the rescheduling of lost international and domestic cricket," says ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney.

"We will now proceed as planned with the men's T20 World Cup 2021 in India and host the 2022 edition in Australia."

Before the pandemic disrupted the game's calendar, Australia were scheduled to host this year's tournament in October and November followed by the 2021 edition in India, who will also host the 50-overs World Cup in 2023.

In its board meeting last month, the ICC deferred the tournament in Australia keeping in mind the logistical challenges involved in staging a 16-team tournament amid existing travel and other restrictions.

The Indian cricket board, according to media reports, were reluctant to sacrifice the 2021 slot for Australia and host back-to-back World Cups in 2022 and 2023.

All teams that qualified for this year's tournament in Australia will compete in India next year, the ICC said, while a new qualification process will be put in place for the 2022 tournament.

Moving the women's World Cup would allow teams to be sufficiently prepared in 2022.

Three women's cricket tournaments will now take place in 2022, in addition to the Commonwealth Games and the Twenty20 World Cup.

"There has been no women's international cricket played since the conclusion of the T20 World Cup earlier this year and... that is likely to remain the situation for a number of the teams," saus Sawhney.

"Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup..."