Hong Kong have moved a step closer to qualifying for the 2022 T20 World Cup, without playing a ball. They were due to compete in the Asia B Qualifier alongside Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, but that tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Malaysia from November 9 to 15, has been cancelled due to travel restrictions and quarantine issues related to Covid-19.
Hong Kong, as the highest-ranked T20I team (they are currently ranked 23rd globally) among the participants, have made it to the next stage of the qualification pathway – the 16-team Global Qualifier, from which the top four teams will progress to the World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November 2022.
This is not the first time a World Cup qualifying event has had to be cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic. In May, three sub-regional qualifying tournaments in Europe were called off, leaving Italy, Germany and Denmark to progress on the basis of their rankings.
Then in September, the East Asia Pacific Qualifiers for the 2022 men’s T20 World Cup and the 2023 women’s T20 World Cup were both cancelled. Philippines progressed to the next stage of the men’s qualifying pathway, while in the women’s pathway, the highest-ranked EAP team as on November 30, 2021, will go through.
In addition, the Americas qualifier for the Women’s T20 World Cup have also been rescheduled due to travel restrictions. It is now set to take place from October 18 to 25 in Mexico, where Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and USA will be vying for progress.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.