The Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Ehsan Mani, said the chances of holing the T20 World Cup in Australia seem dicey this year. Mani’s comments are believed to be influenced by the Cricket Australia’s chairman Earl Edding’s comments on Tuesday (June 16) stated that hosting the world event in Australia was “unlikely” and “unrealistic”, given the current Covid-19 pandemic outburst.
T20 World Cup is scheduled for October-November’20. While the International Cricket Council is yet to make any official statements about the same, Edding and Mani – the two sitting members of cricket governing body – expect the least for the event to happen this year – with the latter mentioning it is too risky to hold the tournament at this stage which involves 16 teams.
“We have had a lot of discussions and the feeling is it (T20 World Cup) would not be possible this year. ICC has World Cups lined up in 2021 and 2023, so we have a gap year where we can adjust this event. God forbid if some player falls ill or mishap occurs during the tournament, it will have a big impact and create panic in the cricket world and we can’t take that risk,” said Mani, who also heads the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Rights Committee.
England is likely to host a Test series against West Indies in July, followed by a visit from Pakistan, with both series played in a bio-bubble environment. However, Mani thinks, holding a large tournament with 12-16 teams in a bio-bubble environment is not feasible.
“This is okay for one or two teams but when 12-16 teams play in a T20 tournament, it becomes an impossible thing. I don’t think it is feasible today that there is any ICC event in 2020.”
Mani expects the ICC to announce the final call regarding the T20 World Cup sometime “in the next three to four weeks” after considering a joint decision from all the stakeholders involved in the game.
“The thing is the ICC and member boards are stakeholders, and then there are the broadcasters as key stakeholders as well. They are looking at their position and what is best for them. We are also taking into consideration views of associate member countries who get shares from the event. I expect a final decision in three to four weeks time.
“You’ll see that in the next three-four weeks a decision will be taken on this. There is a conference call next week. We’ve had four-five con calls on this in the last month. Obviously a decision will have to be made about where the first event will be. Right now it was to be Australia, then India and then a gap of one year and then India for the World Cup. Now we have to see whether it will be Australia first, or India, to see who will host in 2022,” Mani said.
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