The Women's Cricket World Cup will not take place in New Zealand next year.
The event, scheduled to start in February 2021, has been postponed for a year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite New Zealand's success in combatting the virus.
However, the event's CEO Andrea Nelson explained that the decision had nothing to do with New Zealand's ability to host the event safely.
"It came down to the ability of the teams to qualify," she told NZME.
"We've done a lot of contingency planning around this event, to give it the best possible chance of proceeding successfully – ultimately the decision to delay it comes down to cricket. No qualifying tournaments have been able to be held yet, so in order to qualify and then compete in the event in 2021 – it was too risky.
"We've got teams that can't train, they can't assemble – in the case of a country like the West Indies they can't leave their islands to bring the team together – and that's just not a feasible way to ask a team to prepare for their pinnacle event.
"Having the tournament in 2022 gives the best possible chance for teams around the world to train, prepare, and come and compete in their pinnacle event."
Only five teams had qualified for the eight-team event, with the format set to remain the same in 2022.
While men's international cricket has returned with England hosting the West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland, Nelson explains that hosting a major tournament is a much more daunting and complicated task.
"A one team bilateral is a very different equation to bringing eight teams, broadcast staff – we're looking at bringing about 600 people into New Zealand.
"We have absolutely no doubt we'll be able to pick up those plans and deliver an amazing event a year later."
Sports Minister Grant Robertson reaffirmed the Government's commitment to hosting the Cup.
"This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at home," Robertson said.
"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.
"For the White Ferns I know this will be a particular disappointment. We will keep working with New Zealand Cricket on how we can support them to provide opportunities for internationals to be played over the coming summer."
The ICC also confirmed that this year Men's T20 World Cup, that was also postponed due to Covid-19, will be held in Australia in 2022. India will remain as hosts of the 2021 tournament.