The International cricket council (ICC) for the second time deferred taking a decision on staging the T20 World Cup in Australia, with just over four months left. It is scheduled to start on October 18.
With players of most of the 16 participating teams still in lockdown and international travel suspended, chances of the event taking place this year appear bleak. Australia though has begun to ease some of the restrictions.
Following a virtual meeting of the ICC board, its media statement indicated the focus was already on contingency planning. "The ICC board agreed to continue exploring a number of contingency plans regarding the future of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 and the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 until next month whilst planning for delivery of the events in the scheduled window is ongoing," it read.
If this year's World Cup is eventually postponed to October next year, with Australia as hosts, it will not be agreeable to India. BCCI does not want to forgo its hosting rights of the 2021 T20 World Cup, which Cricket Australia prefers than being pushed to host the event in 2022.
While BCCI is banking on a postponement to reschedule its postponed IPL, the less influential boards stand to lose in a no World Cup year. "The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that," ICC CEO Manu Sawhney said.
ICC agreed to extend the deadline for BCCI to provide tax solutions till December. The global body had threatened to take away India's right to host the 2021 T20 World Cup, which led to a series of ugly email exchanges between the two bodies.