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T20 World Cup: ICC delays decision again, to wait and watch till July

The International Cricket Council (ICC) continues to hold its decision on the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup and the 2021 Women’s World Cup. The decision was taken in Wednesday’s conference call meeting between the ICC board members.

Though, the ICC Board has agreed to continue planning for the two tournaments as per schedule. The apex body may take a final call only in ICC’s Annual Conference next month.

“The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.

“We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well-informed decision,” he added.

“Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best”

Cricket Australia recently announced a power-packed schedule for their upcoming summer season, stretching from August 2020 to February 2021. CA CEO Kevin Roberts admitted that it is an ambitious schedule, considering the after-effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic will be severe.

“It could be everything from the season delivered in full to significant issues with bringing teams in. We’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to stage the Indian men’s tours and the other inbound tours for the season. We are realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer,” Roberts said.

“We’re optimistic that we will withstand this situation and we’re hopeful we can deliver the season looking very similar to the schedule we’ve just released,” he added.

Where does CA’s schedule leave the T20 World Cup?

The schedule released by Cricket Australia leaves plenty of questions unanswered. Earlier, CA had reportedly suggested that this year’s T20 World Cup be pushed to 2021 in Australia, with India postponing the next year’s edition. Roberts said that the ICC has a lot of thinking to do in this regard.

“There are implications for ICC events over a number of years. A lot of complexity for the ICC to deal with. They need to be thinking about when to stage the men’s T20 World Cup that’s planned for Australia.”

“There’s another one planned in India a year later and then in 2023, there’s the men’s cricket World Cup (50-overs) for India as well. And not to forget on the women’s side of the ledger, you’ve got the cricket World Cup in NZ early next year. The ICC is juggling a lot of balls there,” he explained.

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