T20 World Cup. (Source: @T20WorldCup). Photograph:( Twitter )
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will not take any call on the fate of T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by Australia, till as late as August.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in cancellation or postponement of possibly every sporting event. While events such as Tokyo Olympics, Wimbledon, IPL 2020, among many others, have already been either cancelled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, all eyes are on the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be hosted by Australia from October 18 to November 15.
However, with Australia sealing its borders for six months till September 30 to combat the spread of dreaded COVID-19, speculations are rife that the ICC T20 World Cup could be postponed to next year.
A source close to the developments on Monday confirmed that the ICC will not a call on the showpiece event till as late as August while citing the health and well-being of everyone as the top-most priority. The source admitted that ICC will not rush with its decision and will take time to decide on the fate of this event.
"Right now, things look bleak, and people's health is the first priority. However, what if the situation improves in a few months' time? What if the ICC announces that the T20 World Cup is postponed in May itself, and things improve a couple of months down the line, and cricket's governing body realizes that it took a hasty decision. The ICC will take time to decide on the fate of this event, till as late as August. Don't expect any announcement before that," the source told a leading daily.
"As of now, everything will proceed as per plan and assuming that the tournament will be held as per its original dates. So, all other preparations by the ICC's Local Organising Committee (LOC) in Australia, which is already in place, will be on in full swing," he said.
There have been debates on whether the ICC T20 World Cup should be held behind the closed doors with the sporting fraternity giving mixed reactions to the speculations. While many former cricketers have backed the idea of matches without a crowd, others have dismissed the theory of such a major tournament played without spectators.
An ICC spokesperson further said: "During this period of uncertainty, our first responsibility is to protect the well-being of the players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community and we will take a safety-first approach to all the operations over the coming months."