The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday officially postponed this year's T20 World Cup slated to held in Australia. The decision was announced after a decisive round of deliberation when the ICC board met virtually.
The tournament was scheduled to take place between October 18 to November 15 in Australia, but Cricket Australia's (CA) chairman Earl Eddings, back in June, opined that it would "unlikely" and "unrealistic" for the nation to stage the tournament. Besides, Australia has witnessed a recent surge in the number of of COVID-19 cases in Victoria over the last few weeks.
"The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022," the ICC stated in a release.
"The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled."
The windows for the Men’s events are:
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023
Manu Sawhney, the ICC chief executive, said, "We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport.
"The decision to postpone the ICC Men's T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world.
"Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the Men's Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.
"Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, Members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket."
- Chance for BCCI to stage IPL? -
The decision made by ICC subsequently opens up a window of opportunity for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to stage the 13th season of the Indian Premier League.
BCCI had indefinitely postponed IPL 2020, scheduled to start from March 29 ownards, owing to rise in coroanvirus concerns.
BCCI is likely to host IPL 2020 in the UAE between September and November. The final decision is expected to be made later this week after the board manages to get permission from the government for staging the tournament in the UAE and for players and officials of the team to travel.
"The first step was postponement of Asia Cup, which has happened. We can only start to move ahead with our plans after the ICC announces the postponement. They have been sitting on the decision even after Cricket Australia said that they are not too keen on hosting the event," a BCCI Apex Council member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.