Otago still planning for women’s cup

Otago Cricket is planning as if the Women’s World Cup will go ahead.

But the wait and the uncertainty is making that planning rather difficult.

The ICC yesterday postponed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup by a year due to Covid-19 and pushed out the start of the 2023 one-day international World Cup in India by eight months.

But it deferred making a decision on the women’s World Cup to be be staged in New Zealand early next year.

It will "continue to evaluate the situation" and in the meantime planning for this event continues as scheduled".

New Zealand Cricket chairman Greg Barclay told Radio New Zealand he hopes a decision will be reached soon.

"The decision will be made in the next two weeks," he said.

"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 and, 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."

The tournament involves eight teams and is scheduled to be run from February 6 to March 7.

Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin will host games.

The stakes are particularly high in Dunedin. Work to upgrade the drainage at the University of Otago Oval was delayed due to Covid-19.

That work is set to begin in spring which will means it is unlikely Otago teams will play on their home venue before the World Cup.

But the uncertainty is making planning for the domestic season difficult, Otago Cricket Association chief executive Mike Coggan said.

"We don’t know where our domestic sides will be playing their cricket," he said.

" If there isn’t a women’s World Cup starting in early February then it could be we have access to the University of Otago Oval.

"It is only my view but I think the ICC would want to see that event go ahead ... rather than having the events stack up, particularly with the T20 World Cup not happening for another 12 months."

The ICC issued a press release early yesterday morning confirming the T20 World Cup, which was to be staged in Australia this year, will now be staged in October-November, 2021.

That means there will be back-to-back men's T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022. The 2023 ODI World Cup in India has been moved from its February-March slot to an October-November window.

The Indian cricket board wants to stage the 2021 tournament to avoid hosting back-to-back ICC events in 2022 and 2023.

"The decision to postpone the [men’s T20] was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world," ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said.

"Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket."

 

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