Eighteen matches in League Two have been postponed ©Getty Images

Eighteen matches in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's Cricket World Cup League Two have been postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sixth, seventh and eighth series of the league have all been delayed following advice from health authorities and Governments.

Current table-toppers Oman were due to host the sixth series with second-placed United States and Nepal between March 19 and 28, while Oman and third-placed Scotland were scheduled to travel to bottom side Papua New Guinea for the seventh series from April 14 to 24.

Series eight was also due to be held in Papua New Guinea, with the US and Namibia the visitors from May 13 to 23.

Six one-day internationals (ODIs) were due to be played at each series, with League Two part of the qualification process for the 2023 Men's Cricket World Cup in India.

The top three sides at the end of the seven-team event will earn a spot in the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will in turn offer two places at the tournament.

It will not be game over for the remaining four sides, who will drop into the Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-Off 2023 alongside the Challenge League A and B winners.

Two teams from this event will also reach the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

League Two offers a route to the Cricket World Cup ©Getty Images
League Two offers a route to the Cricket World Cup ©Getty Images

"The postponements are due to the current travel restrictions between countries, the quarantine time required before matches and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases," the ICC said.

"The ICC will now work with hosts and participating members to find an appropriate window where the qualification pathway fixtures can be safely and practically rescheduled before the cut-off date of 28 February 2023. 

"The window for rescheduling fixtures has been extended to the latest possible date to provide the best opportunity for qualification to be determined on the field of play."

The next series scheduled as part of League Two is now due to be Scotland's hosting of Nepal and Namibia in July, when six ODIs are again scheduled.

"We have decided to postpone the three upcoming series involving six members in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League Two competition," said the ICC's head of events Chris Tetley. 

"The ICC's priority continues to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials and fans. 

"We have fully assessed the situation with both hosts and all participating members, and taking into account current travel restrictions, quarantine time before matches and on Government and public health authority advice in relation to COVID-19, the best course of action was to postpone these series.

"We are actively working with members to identify suitable windows to reschedule the three series. 

"We are likely to face more challenges over the coming months but will continue to try and maximise the opportunity for members to qualify on the field of play."

United Arab Emirates are also part of League Two.