ICC keeps ball rolling for T20 World Cup amidst COVID-19 crisis

Updated: Apr 18, 2020, 07:25 IST | PTI | Melbourne

Cricket's governing body exploring all options to stage T20 World Cup amidst COVID-19 crisis after Australia lockdown puts the event in jeopardy.

West Indies players celebrate after winning the ICC World T20 final at Kolkata in 2016. Pic/Getty Images
West Indies players celebrate after winning the ICC World T20 final at Kolkata in 2016. Pic/Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is not in a hurry to take a decision whether the T20 World Cup should be postponed in the wake of COVID-19 or staged as scheduled, saying it is "exploring all options" as part of its comprehensive contingency planning for all its events. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15 but with all sporting events either postponed or cancelled due to the global health crisis, the fate of the tournament remains uncertain.

With Australia sealing its borders and putting restrictions on travel to contain the dreaded disease, there have been speculations that the T20 World Cup could be postponed to next year or held inside closed doors. "We are continuing with our planning for ICC events as they are, but given the rapidly evolving situation as a prudent and responsible measure we are also undertaking a comprehensive contingency planning exercise," an ICC spokesperson was quoted as saying by SkySport. "This includes exploring all options available to us based on a range of scenarios connected to the pandemic."

The T20 World Cup is still six months away and ICC said it will take a decision after consulting all stakeholders, including the Australian government. "We will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government and will take decisions at the appropriate time," the spokesperson said. "We will utilise all the data available to us to ensure we can take well-informed, responsible decisions that are in the best interests of our sport."

Former captain Allan Border and star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell have already given a thumbs down to the prospect of the tournament happening without spectators, while former batsman Simon Katich and wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey feel delaying the event remains an option.

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