The ICC on Monday postponed the T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, a long-anticipated decision that paves the way for the BCCI to organise the IPL during the October-November window.
The ICC hasn’t yet decided whether India and Australia will swap the 2021 and 2022 editions between them, both of which will be held in the October-November window. “The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," ICC said in a statement.
2023 ODI World Cup pushed to October-November
The ICC men’s ODI World Cup in India will now be held October – November 2023 (final on 26th) to allow a longer qualification period to all teams. Normally the World Cups in India are held between February and March as it happened in 1996 and 2011 but way back in 1987 (Reliance World Cup), it was held during the festive season.
CEO Sawhney said: “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."
The decision, he said, was taken in consultation with all the stakeholders. “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."
Women’s 2021 ODI World Cup in New Zealand
The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation with regards to the 2021 women’s World Cup in New Zealand in February. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled. No decision on the nomination process
The ICC didn’t announce the nomination process for its next independent chairman to replace Shahshank Manohar as it has been learned that members are yet to reach unanimity regarding their choice for the next head of the global body.
The ICC T20 World Cup was scheduled Down Under from October 18-November 15 but Cricket Australia, in the month of May itself, had intimated ICC that it would be near impossible to stage a closed-door event of this magnitude which would also require quarantine arrangement for 16 international teams. The ICC deliberated on unspecified contingency plans for over two months before coming up with Monday’s decision.
Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “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." As far as hosting of this edition is concerned, ICC’s commercial wing will be monitoring various modalities before coming to a decision on whether India will host the 2021 edition or swap with Cricket Australia and host theirs in 2022.
“The ICC Business Corporation(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," it stated. The decision to announce the schedules of the next three World Cups will help the boards plan more bilateral engagements and earn revenue lost during the pandemic.
“Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket," Sawhney stated. There has been no formal announcement but there is a possibility that BCCI might shift the Indian Premier League to the United Arab Emirates taking India’s COVID-19 case load into account. India has recorded over 11 lakh cases so far with the death toll breaching the 27,000 mark.
The other option is having a twin-city closed door bio-secure event, which was the first preference of at least one of the stakeholders. The IPL will likely start in the last week of September and end in the second week of November.
“We were waiting for the formal announcement. Now we can at least submit our plans to the government and wait for their necessary clearances. There is scheduling, logistics, operational aspects that needs to be taken care of," a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had earlier expressed confidence that the year wouldn’t pass without the glitzy event going ahead.