Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: As expected the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the postponement of the Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in Australia later this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament was slated to take place between 18 October and 15 November.
The postponement means the Indian Premier League, which was due to start on 29 March, may take place in the vacant window later this year.
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 – Manu Sawhney, ICC Chief Executive
“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.”
“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” Sawhney said in his statement.
“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.
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.it added
The ICC also announced that two editions of the T20 World Cup will be held in October and November in 2021 and another in 2022.
The final of the 2021 event will be played on 14 November while title clash for the 2022 tournament has been slated for 13 November.
It was however not clear whether the 2021 tournament will be held in India as planned, and the 2022 competition in Australia, or the Australia edition will be moved to 2021 and India to 2022.
The ICC also announced that the 2023 50-over men’s World Cup in India will move from February and March to October and November.
The statement says ICC will “continue to evaluate” the situation before deciding on the 2021 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in February, with planning continuing as scheduled. The next Women’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in South Africa in 2022.
Last week, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had announced the postponement of Asia Cup