ICC considering deferring 2021 U-19 Women's World Cup to later in the year

The captains' photoshoot ahead of the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup AFP

The ICC is gauging the possibility of deferring the inaugural Under-19 Women's World Cup in Bangladesh from its originally earmarked window of January 2021 to later in the year.

Though the governing body or the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has not yet made any official announcements about the postponement of the tournament, ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC has been liaising with the BCB and closely monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Bangladesh to assess if revised dates could be accommodated in 2021 itself.

The ICC board, which confirmed last week the postponement of the 2022 Women's T20 World Cup to February 2023 among other developments, is understood to have not arrived at a decision on the fate of the U-19 Women's World Cup yet. Further clarity on the matter could emerge only early next year.

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With the 2021 Women's ODI World Cup in New Zealand having already been deferred by a year, no major women's global event, save for potentially the qualifiers of the 50-over World Cup, is scheduled for next year. Should the U-19 Women's World Cup be held in 2021, it will be one of the only two global events that year, with India scheduled to host the Men's T20 World Cup in October-November.

While all cricket in India continues to remains suspended, the BCB resumed domestic cricket last month, with the President's Cup, in which the board managed to keep the three participating teams in a bio-bubble, allowing them only to commute between the hotel and the Shere Bangla National Stadium. A second domestic tournament, the five-team Bangabandhu T20 Cup, got underway on Tuesday within a BCB-supported bio-bubble. As for the resumption of international cricket, West Indies has given Bangladesh hope that they will be touring the country in January 2021.

The decision to introduce a Women's U-19 World Cup was made during the four-day ICC board meetings in October last year, under the chairmanship of Shashank Manohar. A release issued by the governing body had stated, "The board approved the establishment of an U-19 Women's T20 World Cup with the first edition to be played in Bangladesh in 2021 and every two years after that."