The International Cricket Council (ICC) could decide on the fate of the 2020 T20 World Cup at its board meeting on Thursday. The World T20 is scheduled in Australia from October 18 to November 15. According to ICC’s contingency plans, the 2020 World Cup can be postponed to three possible slots: February-March 2021, October 2021 or October 2022. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ICC’s richest affiliate, wouldn’t want the first two options.
“Pushing the World Cup to Feb-March 2021 would eat into our bilateral FTP (Future Tours Programme, according to which India are supposed to play England at that time). It wouldn’t be wise to allow an ICC event to further dent bilateral competitions, already affected by Covid-19,” said a BCCI official who did not wish to be named.
The official also said pushing the 2020 World Cup to October 2021 would mean the one India is supposed to hold at that time goes to 2022 and BCCI wouldn’t want that. “It would force us to host two World Cups in six months because the 50-over World Cup has been allotted to India in Feb-March 2023.”
The view within BCCI is that with international travel suspended, players under lockdown in different parts of the world, mandatory quarantine rules, and losses incurred from a closed-door World Cup will lead to Cricket Australia (CA) seeking a postponement. CA is said to be keener on India’s year-end tour to Australia because of the television money it could fetch.
Officially, BCCI is saying nothing. “We are not saying that the T20 World Cup be postponed. It’s a call Cricket Australia will have to take,” says BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal.
And neither is ICC. “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. The topic is on the agenda for the ICC Board meeting and a decision will be made in due course,” said a spokesperson.