ICC cancels three European T20 qualifiers due to COVID-19

International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Thursday men’s T20 World Cup sub-regional qualifiers for next year’s T-20 World Cup in Australia have been scrapped due to the pandemic. With sub-regional A and B qualifiers which were supposed to start next month, Finland was supposed to host this event. 

ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley mentioned in a statement,“We have unfortunately had to cancel the three T20 World Cup Sub Regional Europe Qualifiers due to start next month as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.”

The Europe B Qualifier, involving Finland (host), Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Luxembourg and Sweden, was supposed to take place between June 30 and July 5. The A qualifier was scheduled to start from 8th July to 13th July with Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, all competing against each other. The Europe C qualifier which Belgium was due to host between July 5 and 10 involved Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Isle of Man, Portugal, Romania, Serbia.

This also means that Germany, Italy, and Denmark would qualify from the Europe sub-regional qualifiers A, B, C respectively due to better T-20 rankings than other countries. Spain is going to host the T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier scheduled between October 15 and 21, 2021. It would have two qualifier spots in the A or B global qualifiers.

Two other ICC events have also been postponed because of the pandemic. Due to restrictions and quarantine rules imposed by the government, the T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier which was due to be hosted in Canada from July 17-23 July, involving the hosts, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Panama and the USA, has been postponed.

Also, the Asia B Qualifier, involving Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, and Thailand, due to be hosted in Malaysia between July 11 and 17, has also been postponed. This was supposed to be played from November 9 till November 15, but due to extensive quarantine rules in Malaysia and for visitors, it became extremely difficult and which led to the postponement. New dates for these qualifiers would be further announced.

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