The process to reschedule the World Test Championship cycle and the proposed ODI League will begin this week when all the Test playing nations participate in a teleconference with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“This week will mark the beginning of a series of teleconferences and meetings over the next few months to provide a direction to the Test Championship after two series cancellations because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“No one knows how the situation will be in June, but going by recent trends, I don’t see cricket happening before July. So all series which get affected will have to be rescheduled in the Test Championship cycle,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph on Saturday.
“It’s not just about that. The ODI League was supposed to begin next month and that too has to be reworked. All these can’t be done in a hurry and it will be an ongoing and continuous process. Hence, don’t expect any decision in a hurry.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be represented by its secretary Jay Shah at the teleconference, which is likely to be held on Thursday.
Board president Sourav Ganguly told this newspaper that it hasn’t written to the ICC requesting the global body to revisit the Test Championship cycle and the ODI League.
England have already made it clear that the series against the West Indies needs to be rescheduled. Joe Root’s men were to play three Tests against WI in June.
England had earlier been forced to cancel their two-Test series in Sri Lanka. Pakistan’s two-Test series against Bangladesh also couldn’t be completed after the first match in Rawalpindi. These two series have to be accommodated in the revised cycle.
“In July, England are supposed to host Pakistan while South Africa tour West Indies and Sri Lanka visit Bangladesh. What happens if these too are cancelled? So much of permutation and combination will be involved that hosting the Championship final at Lord’s in June 2021 may not be possible. It won’t come as a surprise if the ICC decides to postpone the final,” the source said.
“Rescheduling the Test Championship will also mean tweaking with the Future Tours Programme (FTP). The ICC doesn’t get involved with the FTP and the member Boards work it out mutually.
“The ODI League also has to be slotted in between. It’s tough to slot a series on a specific date given the current situation. It will be more complex in case Australia fail to host the T20 World Cup in October-November,” he said.
The ICC is expected to take a decision on the T20 extravaganza by August.
The ODI League was to begin on May 1 with 13 teams. The League will serve as a qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India. Twelve Test-playing countries along with Netherlands will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis.
Seven top-ranked sides in the League as on March 31, 2022 besides hosts India, will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the bottom five will have to go through another set of qualifiers.