The ICC has confirmed that India will remain hosts for the 2021 T20 World Cup while the 2022 T20 competition will be staged in Australia.
Australia was originally scheduled to host the global event in October-November this year but the Covid-19 pandemic forced the tournament organisers to postpone it.
The window freed up by the T20 World Cup delay thus paved the way for the rescheduled Indian Premier League to be arranged during this time as the lucrative competition will take place in the UAE from September 19 onwards.
Additionally, the ICC has decided to defer the 50-over Women's World Cup in 2021 in New Zealand until February-March 2022.
This step is rather surprising given the fact that New Zealand is one of the few regions in the world which has successfully defeated coronavirus as it currently has no active case in the country.
All of these announcements were made following the ICB (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC) meeting to discuss contingency planning.
“Over the last few months, as we have considered how we return to staging global events, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in ICC events," said ICC Acting Chairman Imran Khwaja.
“The decisions the Board have taken today are in the best interests of the sport, our partners and importantly our fans. I’d like to thank our partners at the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket New Zealand as well as the Australian and New Zealand governments for their continued support and commitment to a safe return to ICC events," he added.
Elaborating on the logic behind the postponement of the Women's World Cup, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney remarked that the lack of competitive women's cricket left some teams with a marked disadvantage. He focused on the need for enough match practice and a level playing field for the participating nations.
“We have taken the decision to move the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to give players from every competing nation, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage and there is still a global qualifier to complete to decide the final three teams," he said.
“There has been no women’s international cricket played since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and due to the varying impact of COVID-19 globally, that is likely to remain the situation for a number of the teams," Sawhney noted.
"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 so the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”
Meanwhile, the qualification scenario for the 2022 T20 World Cup will be a new one whereas the teams that were due to take part in this year's event will automatically progress to the 2021 tournament.