sports tour

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney. (Twitter/@ICC via IANS)

LONDON (AP) — England’s cricket tour of India that was scheduled to start in late September has been postponed until next year, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Aug. 7.

The move comes after the men’s T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played across Australia in October and November, was also postponed because of the ongoing pandemic. No new dates for the rescheduled tour have been announced.

England’s white-ball tour of the subcontinent was set to include three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches. It was intended to serve as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup.

The ECB said the postponed tour will now take place in early 2021. It added that it was working with the Board of Control for Cricket in India to confirm the schedule for India’s test tour of England set for next summer.

“Now that we have clarity regarding the postponement of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, it enables us to work with other boards to progress the vital task of optimizing the international schedules in the challenging circumstances that we have all been having to address with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.

“International cricket between India and England is a highlight of the cricketing calendar and we look forward to working with the BCCI to firm-up the schedules for these eagerly anticipated tours as soon as possible.”

IANS adds from Dubai: The ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand has been postponed until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on cricket globally. The 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup was also handed to India while the now postponed 2020 edition will be played in Australia in 2022.

The decisions were taken by the IBC (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC) following an extensive contingency planning exercise which has taken into account the health, cricket and commercial impact of COVID-19 around the world, the ICC said in a release.

ICC acting chairman Imran Khwaja said: "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.

"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."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "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. We will now proceed as planned with the Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in India and host the 2022 edition in Australia.

"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.

"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. 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."

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