Following the chaos that the global pandemic brought in sporting calendar, sports governing bodies are currently busy finding the best date to resume or commence major leagues and tournaments. In cricket, the virus-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) was postponed indefinitely, missing its original April-May window. Amid all this, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has a brilliant recommendation.
Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly was pessimistic about the start date of the IPL, telling press that there will be no cricket in India in the near future”, franchise officials are hopeful in its return this year, with current head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders, McCullum reckons that IPL will be played in October with ICC T20 World Cup getting pushed back to 2021.
“I think the IPL will try and target that October window and the T20 World Cup will get pushed back,” McCullum said in a podcast. “That may mean the Women’s World Cup gets pushed back but hopefully we get to see all three tournaments operate.” McCullum believes that neither the T20 World Cup happening without the stadium fans nor does teams from 16 nations will be able to travel to Australia.
The T20 World Cup is slated to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15 but the fate of the tournament remains uncertain in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of writing, the coronavirus pandemic that killed nearly 20,000 worldwide has infected 20,000 in India with nearly 700 deaths, while only less than 7,000 cases in Australia with not more than a hundred fatalities.
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the meeting with the ICC chief executives earlier this week said that “three options have been shortlisted”. The first is to stick to the original Oct-Nov schedule and the second is to the tournament in Feb-March next year. The third and last option that was zeroed in on is to stage the tournament in 2022,” one of the representatives, who was part of the meeting, told the press.
The World Test Championship and the inaugural ODI League were the two of the major issues tackled during the said meeting but organizing the T20 World Cup is the first major task at hand for the ICC and Cricket Australia. Twelve full ICC members and three associate members in attendance was given as many as eight option about the T20 World Cup.
“Most likely, they (ICC and members) will move towards hosting the T20 World Cup in Feb-March,” the source added. “As for the World Test Championship, the BCCI has maintained the importance of World Test Championship and it is unlikely that the points will be shared. The Test schedules will be altered with and in all likelihood, the final, which was scheduled in June 2021, will be moved to 2022.”
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