When the International Cricket Council’s all-powerful board holds a teleconference on Thursday, it is expected to formalise the postponement of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia to 2022, which might open up a window for the lucrative Indian Premier League in October.
The decision, if formalised in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, will give members a chance to chalk out their bilateral blueprint in the coming months. “There is a good chance that postponement of World T20 will be decided during Thursday’s board meeting. Whether there will be a formal announcement or not is the question,” an ICC board member said.
Also read: ICC T20 World Cup 2020 set to be postponed
The ICC had planned to host a T20 World Cup in back-to-back years. Australia would have hosted the one in 2020 while India was going to play hosts to the 2021 edition. However, now the 2021 edition will be played in October of that year as planned while the 2020 edition will be moved to 2022. One of the major reasons why ICC can make this move without too much to think about is because, in 2022, there isn’t any world event to start with.
After the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, India was supposed to host the next world event again. That was going to be the 50-overs World Cup in 2023. There were ideas that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 might be shifted to the March or April of 2021, which is towards the end of the Australian summer.
However, this would create a situation where two world events might play out in an interval of six months, as the 2021 T20 World Cup is scheduled in October of that year. The official broadcasters, Star Sports, has objected to this schedule. Sources believe that the broadcasting company reported that it wouldn’t be feasible to host two World Cups in 2021 and two IPL tournaments in six months.
If the ICC moves the T20 World Cup to 2022, it would allow the BCCI to sweep in with an IPL season in the October-November window. The board is monitoring the situation, taking its sweet time. It is likely that IPL will happen at some point this year. As far as bilateral cricket series is concerned, India has been in talks with Cricket South Africa (CSA) for a T20 series in August in the rainbow nation.
India’s tour Down Under later this year seems to be going ahead as planned given the COVID-19 situation in Australia. However, the Indian players might have to spend 14 days in quarantine on their arrival in the country — according to the rules of the Australian government.