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Future of the 2021 ODI World Cup to Decide in the Next Fortnight

New Zealand Cricket have confirmed that the fate of the 2021 ODI World Cup will be decided in the next fortnight. On Monday, the International Cricket Council have announced the postponement of the upcoming T20 World Cup which was scheduled to take place in Australia this October and November owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the fate of the women’s 50-over marquee event remained less clear which is to be played in New Zealand from February 6 to March 6 next year. ICC stated that it would “continue to evaluate the situation” as planning for the event continued according to the schedule.

New Zealand Cricket chair Greg Barclay has cleared the air on Tuesday, telling Radio NZ they would take a call on 2021 ODI World Cup soon.

“The decision will be made in the next two weeks, 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,” Barclay said. “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.”

While the entire world has been fighting against the global pandemic novel coronavirus, New Zealand have come out successfully amid this crunch situation. They have shown the success in eliminating community spread of COVID-19. With this, there is a hope that 2021 ODI World Cup will take place as planned.

While the crowds are coming to the grounds, a full grounds are expected for 2021 ODI World Cup matches scheduled at Auckland’s Eden Park, Tauranga’s Bay Oval, Wellington’s The Basin, Christchurch’s Hagley Oval and University Oval in Dunedin.

However, there are several questions raising for the event, including all the cost and logistical implications of getting seven teams into New Zealand amid this global pandemic. However, Barclay referred those hurdles were “surmountable”, saying that the New Zealand government was supportive of the mega event going ahead as planned.

“How do you get teams travelling around the world, they’ve got to hub through other countries and so what are the implications of that, and then getting them through the quarantine restrictions that may be in place,” Barclay said. “And of course, all of that comes with a cost and so there are budgetary implications heading into February.”

Moreover, uncertainty also remains over the qualification process where five teams have sealed their spots – hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India. Meanwhile, the qualifying event which was scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka this month has been postponed for the indefinite time period.

While there is a question over Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies’ selection, whether they would play any qualifying events, the current situation makes thing worst for the teams like India and Pakistan. Their upcoming series have cancelled which will affect their preparation for the tournament. This will certainly be a disadvantage to their rivals.

India, who finished runners-up in the T20 World Cup earlier this year in Australia, had been scheduled to travel to England for a tri-series in September involving England and South Africa. But they have pulled out of the series due to the COVID-19 crisis in the nation.

However, England and South Africa will play the series (both ODIs and T20Is) where the focus will be on ODIs for the upcoming 2021 ODI World Cup. On the other hand, Australia are likely to host New Zealand in both limited-overs formats from late September, and India for three ODIs in January, but there is no news of other scheduled international cricket right now.

While the question will raise over Matthew Mott – Australia head coach if the 2021 ODI World Cup is postponed who is contracted until the end of the tournament, it could also affect the 2022 T20 World Cup, which is to take place in South Africa. Although the dates are yet to be announced, it is expected to take place early in the year.

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