After months of uncertainty, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday confirmed that the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia has been postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (More Cricket News)
The decision to postpone the mega-event was taken during the ICC board's virtual meeting today. However, the ICC hasn't yet decided whether India and Australia will swap the 2021 and 2022 editions between them, both of which will be held in the October-November window.
As far as hosting of this edition is concerned, ICC's commercial wing (IBC Board) will be monitoring various modalities before coming to a decision on whether India will host the 2021 edition or swap with Cricket Australia and host theirs in 2022.
But the official announcement from the ICC to postpone the tournament has cleared the decks for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) in October-November window, 2020.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," the ICC said in a statement.
The T20 World Cup was scheduled from October 18-November 15 but Cricket Australia had intimated the ICC that it would be near impossible to stage a closed-door event of this magnitude with quarantine arrangement of 16 international teams.
In addition to this, the 2023 50-over World Cup in India was pushed from March-April to the November window to give more time for the qualification process.
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"At today’s meeting of the IBC Board (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC), windows for the next three ICC men's events were also agreed to bring clarity to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19." the released added.
Meanwhile, with India's COVID-19 caseload exceeding a million mark, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is favourite to host this edition of IPL. The UAE partially staged the tournament in 2014 due to the general elections in India.
Besides UAE, Sri Lanka has also offered to host the IPL.
The BCCI had already zeroed in on September-early November window for its T20 league.
2023 ODI World Cup pushed to October-November
The ICC men's ODI World Cup in India will now be held October-November 2023 (final on 26th) to allow a longer qualification period to all teams.
Normally the World Cups in India are held between February and March as it happened in 1996 and 2011 but way back in 1987 (Reliance World Cup), it was held during the festive season.
CEO Sawhney said: "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."
The decision, he said, was taken in consultation with all the stakeholders.
"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."
Women's 2021 ODI World Cup in New Zealand
The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation with regards the 2021 Women's World Cup in New Zealand in February. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.