The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world. More than a year after it caused the entire world to stop and shut down, it still remains a major obstacle behind the conduct of global sporting and entertainment events. While the safety and health of players and personnel involved remains the priority, there is also the criticism of whether such events should happen at all when the world is going through a medical emergency.
Amid all this, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to call of the European qualifiers for the forthcoming T20 World Cup in Australia that is going to be played in 2022. The world cricket governing body announced in a statement that quarantine protocols of several countries were the reason behind this decision. The qualifying tournament was scheduled to be played in Belgium but the government was reluctant to issue the clearance.
The only course of action was to cancel the event: ICC
"The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Europe C Qualifier which Belgium was due to host between 5 and 10 July involved Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Isle of Man, Portugal, Romania, Serbia. After extensive consultation with both hosts, participating Members, the relevant governments, public health authorities and in line with the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning of COVID-19 the only course of action was to cancel the three events," ICC said in a statement.
"The cancellation was as a result of over half of the countries still facing significant restrictions on free movement and extensive quarantine periods for returning Members back into their home countries, as well as domestic restrictions in place preventing teams from selecting and preparing squads for the tournaments. Full approval from the Belgian government for the staging of the event based on the Bio-Safety Mitigation strategies proposed by the ICC was also not obtained," it added.