Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
The International Cricket Council (ICC) top brass is still hopeful of hosting the 2020 World T20 in Australia on the slated time, but reiterated that contingency arrangements will be considered on Wednesday.
The World T20 is supposed to be held from Oct.18-Nov.15 later this year, but its fate is hanging in the balance due to COVID-19 travelling restrictions.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board agreed to continue exploring a number of contingency plans regarding the future of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 until next month whilst planning for delivery of the events in the scheduled window is ongoing,” said an ICC statement.
The ICC said it was assessing and evaluating the rapidly changing public health situation caused by COVID-19.
The ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “The situation across the globe is evolving and improving very fast and we want to try our best before arriving at a decision. We want to make the right decision.
“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.
The council expressed its desire to continue to assess and evaluate the rapidly changing situation caused by COVID-19 working with key stakeholders including governments to explore how the events can be staged to protect the health and safety of everyone involved.
This contingency planning process will evaluate health and safety, cricket, partners and host considerations ensuring any decision taken is in the best interests of the sport, its members and fans.
Earlier, Cricket Australia had expressed their inability to hold the showpiece event this year. In their letter, CA had also suggested that they should be handed rights to hosts the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup instead of postponing this year’s edition to 2022.
But India turned down the request and refused to exchange the hosting rights with CA. However, BCCI is facing a tax case in India and have been warned by the ICC to resolve the dispute by December 2020.
If ICC decides to go ahead with World T20, it can be a huge blow for BCCI, which is eyeing to hold the postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) during the same time, which looks to be the only possible window for the cash-rich league.
The ICC says it is continuing preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia this year as planned.
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