The International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia to next year. The tournament, originally scheduled for October-November this year will now be held at the same time next year with the final scheduled for November 14, 2021. The postponement, forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, was decided at the meeting of the IBC Board (ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC, the commercial subsidiary of the governing body) on July 20. The IBC also decided the windows for the next three ICC men’s events to prevent clashes in the calendar because of the scheduling of bilateral cricket.
“We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport,” Chief Executive Manu Sawhney was quoted in the official release by the ICC.
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“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world,” he added.
The move to postpone the World Cup would have made the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bosses and the Indian Premier League (IPL) stakeholders happy. The IPL now has the all-important window it needed to hold the postponed 2020 season. It was reported last week that the BCCI already set the plans in motion to stage the money-spinner league in the UAE in October-November. The final is being planned for the first week of November so that the Indian team players and the Board have enough time to regroup and head to Australia for a bilateral Test and limited-overs series. The franchises have also, apparently, started planning the logistics.
The ICC seems to have already given the green signal to the sport’s richest board.
“Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket,” said Sawhney. “Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic, ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.
“Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket,” he added.
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The ICC also confirmed that those who have already purchased tickets for the World Cup can retain them. "If Australia hosts in 2021, tickets will remain valid for fans who have already bought and will be automatically updated to reflect the new dates. If Australia hosts in 2022, for tickets already bought, a full refund will be processed automatically," the release stated.
The ICC statement said that the IBC Board “will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year”.
World Cup New Dates
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021.
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022.
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023.
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