The International Cricket Council (ICC) has finally decided to postpone the T20 World Cup owing to the pandemic after months of dithering.
The ICC board met on Monday afternoon and decided to put off the tournament, which was scheduled in Australia from October 18 to November 15.
The news will come as a huge relief to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is eager to host the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), possibly in the UAE, from September-end to the first week of November.
At Monday’s meeting of the IBC board, the commercial subsidiary of the ICC, it was decided to allocate windows for the next three men’s events — T20 World Cups in October-November 2021 and October-November 2022.
The 50-over World Cup in 2023, scheduled to be held in India, has also been postponed by a few months. It will now be played in October-November 2023 instead of in March-April.
The ICC, however, did not announce the venues for the two T20 World Cups. As per the original Future Tours Program, India was to host the event in 2021.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, Australia wants to host the 2021 edition with India getting the 2022 rights. The BCCI, though, has stuck to its guns, saying it wouldn’t be prudent to host two consecutive ICC events, in 2022 and 2023.
Apparently, the ICC decided to postpone the 50-over World Cup in 2023 by a few months to ensure a decent gap between the 2022 and 2023 events just in case India host both, the 2022 T20 World Cup in October-November and the 2023 ODI World Cup.
But whether BCCI and the broadcasters will agree to the proposal remains to be seen.
Another aspect that could decide the fate of the 2021 T20 World Cup is the tax issue. The BCCI has been given time till December to get the necessary clearance for tax concessions from the government. If they are successful, India’s chances of hosting the 2021 T20 World Cup increase.
The announcement to postpone the event this year was a given after Cricket Australia had stressed on a few occasions that it would be unable to host it since 15 teams would be travelling to their country.
With Melbourne and its surrounding areas in fresh lockdown a batch of ICC staff, working in tandem with the local organising committee in Australia, recently returned thereby putting an end to any lingering hopes of the event being staged this year. But the ICC took time on a final decision as it couldn’t reach a consensus on who would host the event next year. That still remains unresolved.