Mohamed ElShorbagy and Nouran Gohar won the singles titles at last year's British Open ©PSA

Professional Squash Association (PSA) chief executive Alex Gough has said he is "hopeful" the British Open will go ahead in 2021 after the year's event was formally cancelled.

The PSA World Tour Platinum tournament was due to take place from May 25 to 31 before being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the PSA confirmed it would now focus on staging the 2021 edition at the University of Hull Sports and Fitness Centre, with it deemed impossible to but on the 2020 competition.

The PSA also revealed it had provisionally scheduled next year’s British Open for June.

"While running the 2020 event in the next few months just isn’t possible at this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to stage the 2021 edition in June," Gough said.

"The British Open is one of the most distinguished tournaments in squash and the decision to change the status of the 2020 edition from postponed to cancelled is one that we have not made lightly.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing restrictions and protocols that come with it means that there are a number of hurdles involved when running a world-class sporting event.

"We will stay in close contact with England Squash and Dr [Assem] Allam in the coming months as we look to stage the event next summer."

The United Kingdom has the fifth-worst death toll from coronavirus, registering more than 60,000 fatalities, and has recorded more than 1.69 million cases.

The country has been boosted by the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, however, which is set to be rolled out next week.

"The major disruption caused by the global pandemic made it extremely challenging to schedule the Allam British Open in 2020," said Keir Worth, chief executive of England Squash.

"But we are absolutely delighted to schedule the event in 2021 and very much look forward to welcoming athletes from across the world once again.

"The Allam British Open is one of the highlights of the squash calendar and we are focused on staging the best possible event with the PSA and other partners."

Assem Allam, who is the title sponsor for the British Open, said he remained "committed" to staging the event in Hull in June next year.

"The decision to cancel the 2020 event was an exceedingly difficult, but necessary, decision to make due to the unwavering levels of uncertainty that not only shroud sport in this country but nearly all aspects of our lives," Allam said.

"We will work closely with PSA, England Squash and the University of Hull to hold the tournament next year and will be following further updates from the UK government keenly to ensure the tournament can go ahead as planned."

There was joy for Egypt at last year’s British Open, with Mohamed ElShorbagy claiming the men’s title and Nouran Gohar winning the ladies' crown.

The event has been staged in Hull since 2013.