The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has forced the postponement of Malaysia’s 2020 Challenge League A round, which was to begin in just ten days time.
Canada, Denmark, Qatar, Singapore and Vanuatu were set to join the hosts for the 11-day series, though the International Cricket Council felt issues surrounding travelling logistics and player health forced them into the decision.
“We have been monitoring the situation very closely and have concluded that the best course of action is to postpone the event owing to the increasing travel difficulties between countries and the potential uncertainty around teams returning home,” ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said in a press release today.
“The wellbeing of everyone involved is our first priority and we look forward to the event being played later in the year.”
It’s the second cricket competition postponement in the space of eight hours, with Nepal’s Everest Premier League also announcing their tournament will be rescheduled. Malaysia has 55 cases of the Coronavirus, with 33 considered ‘active’, though neighbours and fellow competitors Singapore carry over 117 cases. Moving future ICC events, like Cricket World Cup League 2 Tri-series in both Namibia and the USA next month are also certainly being considered.
Malaysia also hosted the first round of Challenge League Group A, where Canada and Singapore each claimed four wins from their five matches to share top spot.
The top team at the end of Challenge League Groups A and B in 2021 will secure two of the six places in the Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff in 2022, on the road to 2023 World Cup qualification.