WELLINGTON: New Zealand said it could have probably hosted the women's Cricket World Cup next year but supported the decision of the International Cricket Council to postpone the event for a year.
The ICC announced their decision on Friday to shift the 50-over tournament until February 2022 because of the uncertainty around COVID-19.
One of the concerns was the fact that no teams had played since March and time was running out to hold a qualifying tournament to find the final three sides.
"This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world," New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement on Saturday.
"The organising committee in New Zealand has been working with the government to ensure a safe and enjoyable tournament could be played.
"We could have done it in 2021, but now we will look to 2022. As a government we have reiterated our commitment to supporting the tournament."
Local organisers added the decision to postpone the tournament was the right one given the health and safety concerns and the fact that teams could not enter a World Cup without having played any matches beforehand.
"What we're all about is staging the best possible World Cup," local organising committee Chief Executive Andrea Nelson told Radio New Zealand.
"When you look at the situation around the world and the ability for teams to qualify and train and compete in what has to be their pinnacle event, delaying it a year just makes sense to have the best possible product.
"We're dealing with a pretty unprecedented global time but it is the right thing for cricket."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Himani Sarkar)