Heather Knight ‘Pretty Gutted’ At 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup Postponement
Heather Knight hopes "women's cricket won't be put on back burner for the next 12 months". (AFP)

“Gutted” by the postponement of the 2021 women’s ODI World Cup, England captain Heather Knight is hoping that the ICC’s decision doesn’t become an “excuse” for member nations to push women’s cricket on the back burner.

The 29-year-old ace English cricketer said the event was “feasible”, differing with the ICC’s decision to push it from next year to February-March of 2022 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pretty gutted to be honest. I know tough decisions have to be made right now & it would have taken a lot of work (and $$), but it was feasible in NZ,” she said.

“Hopefully it’s not an excuse for boards to put women’s cricket on the back burner for the next 12 months with no WC to prepare for,”she said.

New Zealand has so far recorded 1569 confirmed cases for the virus with a majority of them having recovered, making it one of the least affected countries in the world.

The country was scheduled to host the premier tournament from February 6 to March 7 next year.

The decision to delay the 12th edition of the women’s ODI Word Cup was taken at the ICC Board Meeting which was held via teleconference on Friday.

“We have taken the decision to move the Women’s World Cup to give players from every competing nation, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage and there is still a global qualifier to complete to decide the final three teams,” Manu Sawhney, the ICC’s chief executive, had said.

“Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup so the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”

India, England, Australia, South Africa and hosts New Zealand had already qualified for the tournament.

They will retain that status while the remaining three slots will be decided after a qualifying tournament.