THREE men’s T20 World Cup sub-regional Europe qualifying tournaments, all pathway events to the 2022 World Cup in Australia slotted for June-July, have been called off because of “restrictions and the short timelines” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two of the competitions – sub-regional Europe A and B qualifiers – were scheduled to be played in Finland, and the third, the sub-regional Europe C qualifier, in Belgium.
Following the cancellations, Italy, Germany and Denmark will qualify from A, B and C respectively because of their positions on the ICC T20I rankings table (as of April 30, 2020). The three teams will now join Jersey in the qualifier to be played in Spain – October 15 to 21 – where two spots are up for grabs in the A or B global qualifiers.
The other teams in the fray in these three qualifiers were Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Israel, Malta, Norway and Spain in ‘A’, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Luxembourg and Sweden in ‘B’ and Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Isle of Man, Portugal, Romania and Serbia in ‘C’.
“As part of the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning process we have been working continuously with the hosts, participating members and all stakeholders to maximise the opportunity for qualification to be determined on the field of play,” Chris Tetley, ICC’s head of events, said in a statement.
“However, due to COVID-19 restrictions and the short timelines that the European season provides to allow us to progress with the next step in the pathway, there has been no other option than to cancel.”
Two other tournaments, also part of the 2022 World Cup pathway, have been postponed. These are the Americas qualifier, scheduled for Canada in July, pitting Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Panama and the USA, apart from the hosts, and the Asia B qualifier, due to be hosted in Malaysia, also in July.
That competition involves Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong and Thailand. Fresh dates for these will be announced in due course.