The ICC will host a meeting with the CEOs of the 12 Full Members and the three Associate Representatives to discuss about the affect of coronavirus pandemic on the sport. File / Agence France-Presse
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will on Thursday review contingency plans for this year’s men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia and discuss ways to re-start the sport once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the governing body said on Monday.
The global health crisis, which has forced travel and other restrictions in several countries, has halted professional cricket and jeopardises Twenty20 cricket’s flagship event scheduled to begin on Oct. 18 in Geelong. The start of the English season has been delayed by COVID-19.
The meeting, which will bring together the CEOs of the 12 Full Members and the three Associate Representatives, will provide an opportunity for the CEC to collectively consider the impact of the pandemic on the sport. The CEC will discuss the approach to rescheduling postponed series and the need for collectively reviewing the FTP through to 2023 as well as the World Test Championship and Cricket World Cup Super League.
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison has warned an entire season without cricket would cost the game there more than £300 million ($373 million) while Cricket Australia have laid off staff.
South Africa’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in June became the latest series to be postponed on Monday.
The virus could also threaten this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, meant to start on Oct.18.
And next year’s inaugural World Test Championship final at Lord’s may have to be delayed if countries are unable to play their scheduled qualifying matches.
Announcing its Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) meeting, the ICC said in a statement here: “They will... receive an update on the continuing contingency planning for all ICC global events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020”.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has wiped out several bilateral series, which has affected the World Test Championship (WTC), while the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) has been postponed indefinitely.
The purpose of the meeting is to gain a full understanding of member priorities during this time and to discuss and share the key mitigation factors required to resume international cricket based on government advice in each territory.
In Thursday’s conference call, the governing body would like to understand from its members when cricket might re-start and under what conditions.
“The purpose of the meeting is to gain a full understanding of Member priorities during this time and to discuss and share the key mitigation factors required to resume international cricket based on government advice in each territory,” the ICC said.
The governing body’s chief executive Manu Sawhney added: “We need to share knowledge and start to build a deep understanding of what it will take to resume international cricket.
“Countries will start to reopen at different stages and in different ways and we will need to respect that...
“In relation to ICC events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, we will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government. “We will utilize all of the data and information available to us to ensure we can take responsible decisions around all competitions at an appropriate time that are in the best interests of our sport,” he added
Sawhney also asserted that before the cricketing actions restart, the safety of the players and stakeholders will have to be considered.
He also pointed out that as different countries will start to reopen at different stages and in different ways, there planning will also need a holistic approach.
“The scale of this task should not be underestimated and will encompass a myriad of factors until the public health situation has improved to a point that it is safe for our players, our employees, our fans and in a way that will not impact the public health situation adversely.”
There has been no major cricket played since last month and there’s no certainty as to when any first-class, franchise or international matches will resume. The Indian Premier League (IPL), which was supposed to have started on March 29 and would have been the showpiece of the cricketing calendar now, have been postponed indefinitely. However, a number of franchise owners and some of the players are using their occasion for interactive sessions on Twitter and Instagram.