The inevitable happens: ICC T20 World Cup officially gone

By Revatha S. Silva

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday (20) confirmed that its seventh Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was taken by the IBC Board, the commercial subsidiary of the ICC, which met yesterday. The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 was scheduled to be held in Australia from 18 October to 15 November. Now the 2020 T20 World Cup will move to 2021.

What precedence!

The Morning Sports predicted this outcome in its 28 May 2020 issue; the lead story titled “T20 World Cup gone, IPL wins the trophy”, adding that the “ICC (was) destined to dance to the tune of Bharat music”.

Reporting the outcome of the ICC meeting, The Times of India yesterday stated: “The ICC on Monday postponed the T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, a long-anticipated decision which paved the way for the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to organise the IPL (Indian Premier League) during the October-November window.” This was stated in a news story titled “ICC postpones T20 World Cup, decks cleared for Indian Premier League”.

Yes, if anybody wanted some decks cleared for the IPL, now they are fully cleared. But for what?

Covid-19 is doing damage equally everywhere. More or less, in both India and Australia. But cricket’s world governing body has almost ousted one of its flagship events, a World Cup, and paved the way for a franchise league (or a profit-oriented business) of just one of its affiliated members – India!

Who’s going to host it next year?

Prior to yesterday’s events, India was already named as the hosts of the 2021 T20 World Cup. If Australia is to hold the postponed 2020 edition in 2021, then automatically India has to move its eighth edition of the T20 World Cup to 2022.

But according to ICC’s announcement yesterday, it is not clear as to who is going to host the next two back-to-back T20 World Cups. ICC has not yet decided whether India and Australia will swap the 2021 and 2022 editions between them.

Will India take precedence here too, and will Australia have to wait till 2022 to stage its 2020 event?

The windows for the men’s events as finalised yesterday are as follows:

•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 (ODI) Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October-November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023

The above clarification will help the boards plan more bilateral engagements and earn revenue lost during the pandemic.

IPL from late September

And now a mega window – from September to November this year – is vacant for the powerful BCCI to slot in its “gold egg-laying hen”, the IPL.

India may now shift the IPL to the UAE due to its staggering Covid-19 situation or go for the next viable option; to hold it as a twin-city, close-door, and biosecure event.

It is now likely to be staged from the last week of September onwards till the second week of November.