Organisers of the T20 World Cup in Australia are hopeful of hosting the tournament as planned despite it potentially clashing with the football and rugby seasons that may now be extended after being temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We’re wanting to give ourselves the best possible chance of going ahead as planned, so there’s no imminent or quick decision,” Nick Hockley, chief executive of the T20 World Cup organising committee, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“Hopefully it’s all resolved and we go ahead. In the event that it isn’t completely resolved, we are looking at all the different scenarios. Which is only prudent. They are collective discussions involving the organising committee, the ICC, all the members. We will keep everyone updated if anything changes. But for now, we’re just under seven months away ... we’ve got a bit of time,” he added.
The World Cup is to be played from October 18 to November 15 but the postponed Australian Football League and National Rugby League seasons will almost certainly clash with it, threatening to take some attention away from the showpiece event.
“We really feel for the winter codes, obviously they’re doing it very tough,” Hockley said. “In the event, they have extended seasons ... we still think the World Cup is a really strong proposition that might not come here again for 10 or 20 years. We’re very encouraged already by the take up in terms of ticket sales.”
With doubts over the T20 World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is planning to use that window to stage the Indian Premier League season that is suspended till April 15. However, it is highly unlikely that the season will resume any time soon and an October-November window is more of a possibility.
But the ICC has made it clear that there have been no discussions over the postponement of the T20 World Cup and they are expected to hold it as planned, putting further doubts over the IPL season.