ICC postpones this year's T20 World Cup in Australia
The 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia will not be held in October-November owing to the various challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
An announcement regarding the postponement of the global T20 tournament was expected given Cricket Australia's apprehensions over arranging bio-secure facilities for the 16 participating nations.
International cricket has resumed elsewhere in England where the touring West Indies players and members of the home side have been kept in stadiums with on-site hotel accommodation.
However, such an arrangement for an ICC event creates a lot of risks for players, given the fact that some countries are still reeling from the effects of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
The T20 World Cup will now be held next year in October-November, though it has not been confirmed which nation will host the competition.
As per the original programme, India was set to host the T20 tournament in 2021 but they might be awarded hosting rights for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Additionally, the ICC has moved the schedule of the 50-over World Cup in 2023 by shifting the dates from February-March to October-November.
The new windows for these major 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
Planning for the 2021 Women's World Cup in New Zealand continues unperturbed as the island country is one of the few regions in the world that has defeated the pandemic.
“We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport," said ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.
“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."
The window cleared by the postponement of the T20 World Cup paves the way for the possible staging of the delayed Indian Premier League. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling over a change of venue for the IPL this year since Covid-19 cases have surged in India over the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, Sawhney mentioned that the ICC Members now had more clarity around the sporting calendar and can accordingly reschedule other postponed series.
“Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. 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," he said.
"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.
“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. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket.”