All eyes are on ICC as the cricket world eagerly waits to learn the fate of this year’s T20 World Cup. The marquee event is scheduled to take place in October-November in Australia. However, the chances of the tournament this year is looking absolutely bleak due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The governing body of the game will take a final call on the tournament next month. The ICC was supposed to announce the decision in May but the way the apex body is delaying the decision, it is more or less clear that it has not yet given up on organising the tournament.
And while only time will tell what happens with the tournament, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani has said he does not see the T20 World Cup taking place later this year . The former ICC chief said the cricketing world can’t take risk in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mani’s comments came a day after Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings conceded that the global T20 showpiece seems “unrealistic” as it will be difficult to fly in 16 teams to the country.
“We have had a lot of discussions and the feeling is it (T20 World Cup) would not be possible this year. ICC has World Cups lined up in 2021 and 2023, so we have a gap year where we can adjust this event,” Mani told reporters.
“God forbid if some player(s) falls ill or mishap occurs during the tournament, it will have a big impact and create panic in the cricket world and we can’t take that risk,” Mani, who also heads the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Rights Committee, added.
Bio-bubble environment is one of the options to host matches during these tough times. However, Mani is of the opinion that such an environment is not feasible for a tournament like the T20 World Cup.
“Having a bio-bubble environment is feasible for say a bilateral series like Pakistan in England, but it is very difficult when 16 teams are involved,” the PCB chief opined.
There is speculation that the event is headed for a postponement and the window will be utilised by the IPL, which is currently suspended. The BCCI is reportedly confident that the T20 World Cup will be postponed and that window could be utilised for this year’s IPL.