DUBAI: All eyes of the cricketing world will be rivetted on the board meeting of International Cricket Council (ICC) today, which is likely to formally announce a postponement of the T20 World Cup, scheduled as of now to be held in October-November in Australia.
The world governing body of the game had been under increasing pressure from the global cricket community to push back the dates in view of the logistical nightmare that hosting an event of this magnitude, with 16 participating countries, will entail in view of the fluid situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the final announcement from the ICC after the video conference will only clear the air, it’s most likely that the showpiece may now be postponed to 2022.
The option of pushing the World T20 to 2022 looks a more realistic one as there is already a T20 World Cup scheduled in October, 2021 in India. The idea of scheduling two World Cups of the same format in one year, with an unstable global economic environment, will dilute the appeal of this otherwise hugely popular format.
A likely new schedule can then be India hosting a T20 World Cup in 2021, Australia will host the event in 2022 and then again India will host the 50-over World Cup in 2023.
The ICC, while admitting that the dates of the World T20 will dominate the agenda – alongwith the modalities of the election of the chairman – said they were yet to take any decision on the dates itself. Denying reports in some Indian news channels that the event has been already postponed, a ICC spokesperson said: ‘‘The ICC has not taken a decision to postpone the T20 World Cup and preparations are ongoing for the event in Australia this year as per plan. —Agencies