In some disappointing news, ESPNcricinfo has reported that the first Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh is likely to be postponed. As reported earlier, ICC postponed their showcase events – 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup and 2021 Women’s ODI World Cup. Both these tournaments have now been delayed till 2022, and by all probabilities, the 2021 U19 World Cup will be postponed too.
Various events across the sporting world have fallen prey to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, and the inaugural women’s U19 World Cup will likely follow suit. However, there is still time for an official decision to be taken, which will be made by the ICC in November. The BCB Media Committee Chairman, Jalal Yunus, echoed the same in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, “The ICC has been in touch with the BCB over the prevailing Covid-19 situation. However, a final decision on the Under-19 women’s World Cup will be taken only by the governing body.”
The decision for the first-ever U19 WC for women was taken in the ICC Board Meetings, led by Shashank Manohar, last year. The ICC HQ in Dubai had released a statement to confirm a new pathway in women’s cricket, “The Board approved the establishment of a U19 Women’s T20 World Cup with the first edition to be played in Bangladesh in 2021 and every two years after that.
However, with the COVID situation tending to worsen in the sub-continent has made it improbable to go ahead as scheduled. There remains a possibility that the U19 WC will be hosted in the latter part of 2021, with a barrage of ICC events to follow in 2022. As per the updated schedule, 2022 will witness U19 men’s WC in January, followed by the women’s ODI WC in February, and the men’s T20I’s WC, which kicks off in October. Earlier schedules have women’s T20 WC in South Africa and Women’s Ashes in Australia slated for the latter part of 2022.
A U19 World Cup for Women will bring across massive opportunities for young girls across the world, and help the game reach horizons like never before. A formal U19 competition at the highest level will enable better foundations for grassroots cricket organisations, bring in more girls into the game. While we may have to wait a few months more than expected for the first women’s T20 World Cup, it’s creation is a testament to the growth of the women’s game.
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