The International Cricket Council confirmed on Monday that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The event was due to start in Australia in October. The decision opens up the possibility of this year’s Indian Premier League, which has been indefinitely postponed for now, happening in that window.

With the next edition of the tournament originally to be scheduled in India, it has not been announced whether that will continue to be the case in 2021 and the 2022 competition will be in Australia, or the Australia edition will be moved to 2021 and India to 2022.

“Due to the uncertainty of when it will be safe to once again host major sporting events with full stadiums, we are continuing to assess the impact of Covid-19 before making a final decision,” the ICC said adding that there is no confirmation of the new dates for the 2020 event.

In Monday’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 new windows for the Men’s events are:

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

The IBC Board have decided 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. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled, the governing body informed.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said, “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.

“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.

“Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. 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.”

In Due to the uncertainty of when it will be safe to once again host major sporting events with full stadiums, the International Cricket Council is continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19 before making a final decision.

the FAQ published by ICC for ticket-holders, the governing body said: “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 BCCI has been waiting for a decision from ICC with regards to organising the 13th edition of IPL, for which United Arab Emirates has emerged the front-runner as hosts.

“Why they [the ICC] are delaying we have no idea,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had told AFP earlier in July, adding the BCCI was “already planning [the IPL] and we are looking for a window.”

“We will see how the situation pans out,” he said. “We will explore options whether we can have it here or overseas.”

The IPL has twice been held outside India in years that it clashed with national elections. South Africa hosted the 2009 event and part of it was held in United Arab Emirates in 2014.

Covid-19 has played havoc with the global sporting calendar but international cricket has resumed behind closed doors in England, with the host nation taking on the West Indies in a three-Test series, ongoing in Manchester.

Pakistan are also in England preparing for a series of Tests and Twenty20 matches and Australia are making preparations for a potential limited-overs tour of England.

Selectors named a preliminary squad last week but Cricket Australia said “several hurdles” had to be overcome before dates could be locked in.

Australia were originally scheduled to play three one-day and three T20 internationals this month but the trip was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.