COVID-19: Fate of T20 World Cup may be mulled at ICC meeting via tele-conference on March 29
With the T20 World Cup slated for October 18, it might become a problem if authorities in Australia choose to extend the period beyond six months.
CHENNAI: It’s scheduled to start almost seven months from now, but there are indications that the T20 World Cup slated for an October start in Australia might come under some cloud due to the coronavirus outbreak. The first words on this are expected to be exchanged in the ICC’s meeting via tele-conference on March 29.
In an unprecedented step with potentially far-reaching consequences, the Australian government has decided to stop entry of all foreign nationals from March 27. Only Australian nationals and citizens will be allowed to enter. There is no official announcement, but media reports quoted Treasurer of Australia Josh Frydenberg as saying that the restriction may be for six months, even longer.
Six months from March 27 means September 27. With the T20 World Cup slated for October 18, it might become a problem if authorities in Australia choose to extend the period beyond six months. Even otherwise, a World Cup involves trips by ICC officials to the host nation starting months in advance. Representatives of sponsors, security teams of participating countries also travel to the country well before the event starts.
With uncertainty around all that, the ICC is likely to have at least preliminary discussions on the fate of the World Cup, when its 18-member Board of Directors including heads of the 12 Test-playing nations hold a tele-conference on March 29. It was supposed to be a full-fledged meeting over three days in Dubai, before the coronavirus situation forced a change in plans.
Officials from different boards are likely to be updated about the situation in Australia by their representative. It may be early to take a call on whether to host the event as per schedule, but officials may still discuss the possible steps they can take depending on the eventuality. More importantly, they will be asked to prepare for different scenarios.
Is it Ganguly?
ICC still doesn’t have the name of the BCCI’s representative to attend the tele-conference of directors. Sources said it will be board president Sourav Ganguly. The BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s name features in the list of members of the ICC’s Chief Executives’ Committee.