The 2020 ICC T20 World Cup has been postponed and it means a lot of different things for upcoming tournaments in India. Like for the Indian Premier League (IPL) – the BCCI’s big-ticket tournament – which, in all likelihood, will see a 13th season this year itself.
But there’s also the matter of the 2021 T20 World Cup, which India is scheduled to host and, in the long term, the 2023 50 over World Cup, which India is also hosting.
So, what does a postponed 2020 T20 World Cup mean for ICC’s calendar over the next few years? Some uncertainty, as of now, with the ICC leaving the question of who hosts the T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 open-ended.
So, what do we know for sure after Monday’s ICC announcement?
Firstly, that there will not be a T20 World Cup this year.
Secondly, that the deletion of the month-long event from the calendar now leaves an open window for the BCCI to host the currently suspended 13th season of the Indian Premier League.
According to IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, the Board has zeroed-in on UAE as the venue for the tournament this year and has written to the central government, seeking permission.
Though no dates have been confirmed, the window from 26 September to 8 November is being seen as the ideal schedule for the IPL with the Asia Cup that was slated for September also getting postponed to 2021.
With 16 teams from the world slated to take part in the T20 World Cup, this also means that every player from every country will be available to play in much of the IPL this year.
ICC’s Big Dilemma
ICC postponing the T20 World Cup was inevitable since hosts Australia too had said, over a month back, that hosting a 16-team tournament in the current climate would be quite unlikely.
But the world body took its time and has now taken the call, moving the tournament to next year. But that is just the start of the dilemma for the ICC.
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is scheduled for October-November 2021, with the final on 14 November 2021.
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 is scheduled for October-November 2022 in India, with the final on 13 November 2022.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is scheduled for October-November 2023 in India, with the final on 26 November 2023.
That’s three big-ticket events over the next four years – two to be hosted by India and one by Australia.
So, the big question now is, who hosts which edition?
Australia were 2020 hosts and India were hosts in 2021. But, India is also hosting the 2023 50-over World Cup and have repeatedly stated they are not keen to host 2 ICC events in successive years, which may happen if the ICC hands Australia the event in 2021 and India in 2022.
“Australia and India remain as hosts of the next two events but which country hosts which year is still to be determined, in order to allow the ICC to continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”ICC Statement
So, for now, the ICC has left the decision open-ended.