T20 World Cup in Australia to be postponed: Report
The T20 World Cup which was scheduled to be played in Australia later this year might be postponed. The tournament was to be played in the October-November window, but now seems highly doubtful because of the growing concern of the virus.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has scheduled a board meeting on May 28 after which an official announcement could be made. As per a report in the Times of India, however, the decision to push the T20 extravaganza to next year has already been made.
Three options are being discussed at the moment:
1. Cricket Australia may schedule the T20 World Cup next year in 2021 during February-March. But it coincides with IPL 2021, which begins in April and may also put England’s tour to India in problem. Also, the broadcaster Star Sports may not agree given that it holds the rights to ICC events as well as India's bilateral calendar.
2. BCCI agrees to switch the World Cups, letting Australia hold the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup and in turn host the 2022 edition. However, the idea is not feasible given that BCCI is already working on India’s tour Down Under later this year.
3. Australia hosts the tournament in 2022 - a decision which suits most players especially considering there's no ICC event scheduled that year.
Since a plethora of nations has initiated lockdown protocols to contain the virus, travelling will be a major concern. The host nation, Australia has also imposed travel restriction and shutdown its borders until September and with strict rules governing 14-day quarantine for anyone travelling to the country, making it very difficult to conduct the 16-team tournament in that limited time slot.
"And then, of course, there are logistics and hospitality to take care of. If the tournament would've happened, it'd have been played to empty stands and that doesn't make sense for Australia because they lose out on massive gate revenue. Right now, what they'll be getting out of the tournament is the hosting and participation fee (latter applies to all participating boards). They can earn that money whenever the tournament is held next, possibly some gate revenue too," said the TOI sources.
“Postponement of the T20 World Cup presents an empty window in October and November, which the BCCI might look to capitalize on. Borrowing from the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) idea to send a charter to Pakistan to fly them to England for the Test series in August, the BCCI too will not mind chartering an aeroplane to Australia and the Caribbean to fly the players in for IPL.”
“That, however, is too early to talk about right now. A lot of things have to fall in place for it - most importantly this virus spread has to subside, the government has to approve, other countries have to agree to the travel, etc. Let's cross the bridge when we get there," the TOI source added.