MUMBAI – The International Cricket Council (ICC) has told Reuters it is continuing preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia this year as planned and denied reports on Wednesday that a decision had been taken to postpone the event.
Media reports in India said ICC members had come to an understanding that this year’s event would be pushed back to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ICC board is to meet on Thursday to discuss several issues related to the pandemic and its members will also address the fate of the World Cup, which is due to be played at stadiums around Australia from October 18 to November 15.
“The ICC has not taken a decision to postpone the T20 World Cup and preparations are ongoing for the event in Australia this year as per plan,” a spokesman for the governing body told Reuters.
“This is on the agenda for the ICC Board meeting tomorrow and a decision will be taken in due course.”
Australia has been among the most successful nations in containing the spread of the new coronavirus but travel restrictions remain in place with several state and territory borders still closed.
A Cricket Australia spokeswoman told Reuters she was unaware of any decision being taken to postpone the World Cup.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI), which is set to host the following edition of the tournament in 2021, is keeping a close eye on developments as a postponement could open up a window for this year’s Indian Premier League.
The lucrative franchise-based tournament, which was supposed to start at the end of March, had to be postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic and the BCCI could see a $530 million dip in revenue if it fails to find another window for the competition.
Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins told reporters on Wednesday that the IPL would be a great stand-in if the World Cup was postponed.
“You have millions and millions around the world watching that format and I’m sure this year could potentially be even more after a long break off cricket,” he added. (Reuters)