DUBAI (Reuters) - Three regional qualifying tournaments for the men's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.
All three tournaments, originally to be played next month, would now be played in October with the Asia A qualifiers in Kuwait while South Africa hosts the two African events.
"The decision was taken ... due to new restrictions being put in place by several participating countries to suspend sporting activities to limit the spread of the new COVID-19 variants..." the ICC said in a statement.
"The other contributing factor was the extensive quarantine requirements for the visiting teams on their return to their respective countries."
The governing body also cancelled an Asian qualifier for next year's Under-19 World Cup in West Indies.
"We will continue to monitor and assess all events across our pathway structures with the ICC’s priority continuing to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials and fans," ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said in a statement.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Siliguri, India; editing by Peter Rutherford)