After months of postponing what seemed like the inevitable, the ICC has now made the decision to postpone the 2020 T20 World Cup that was scheduled to be played in Australia later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” said the ICC in an official release on Monday evening.
"At today's meeting of the IBC Board (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC), windows for the next three ICC men's events were also agreed to bring clarity to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19,” added the body specifying the dates for the next 3 big men’s ICC events.
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
"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 release added.
Who Hosts 2021 T20 World Cup?
Ideally, India is set to host the 2021 T20 World Cup. But with Australia not being able to hold the 2020 edition, they have requested for ICC to hand them the rights for the 2021 edition while the 2022 edition can be taken by India.
Speaking to IANS, an ICC board member said that the reason why the ICC release didn't mention the venue of the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cup is because a decision is yet to be taken on whether India hand the rights of hosting the next year's showpiece event to Australia.
"See, the whole idea is to reach a decision which is agreeable to all. The only reason why the venues haven't been given and the 50-over World Cup has been delayed by a few months is to keep enough breathing space for the broadcasters if the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup goes to Australia and India host the two tournaments back-to-back. You cannot really have two events in India in six months," the board member explained.
When contacted, a BCCI official said that it will be a decision that will be taken by both the Indian board and Cricket Australia in unison.
"The BCCI and CA share a very strong bond and any decision in this regard would be taken keeping each others' trust and after discussions between the two boards. With the exit of the former chairman, the era of cloak and dagger in the ICC is all but over," the official told IANS.
Window Open For IPL
The postponement of the T20 World Cup has now opened up a window for the BCCI to host the 13th season of the IPL.
The Indian Premier League was scheduled to start on 29 March with the final on 24 May but the tournament stands suspended following the nation-wide lockdown in March due to coronavirus. Since then, the BCCI has been unable to find a new window for the league but with the ICC now postponing the T20 World Cup that was to be played from 18 October to 15 November, it leaves a month-long window where players from across the world will be available with no national duty.
The hosts of the T20 World Cup, Cricket Australia, had started early in June itself that playing a 16-team tournament in the current climate was “unrealistic” and it was believed that the postponement of the tournament was just a matter of time.
The tentative dates for the Indian Premier League that had been doing the rounds so far was from 26 September to 8 November which also includes a bit of the window that had earlier been slotted for the Asia Cup which has also been postponed to 2021.
(With inputs from IANS)