The T20 World Cup in Australia is most likely to be postponed as a result of the global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 when the International Cricket Council (ICC ) Board representing member boards hold a tele-conference this week.
A cricket source from the ICC said that this will be at the top of the agenda when they meet on Thursday.
The Board members will decide the fate of the tournament, exploring all scenarios including playing the tournament on scheduled as planned earlier, playing within closed doors, postponing it by three months or to 2022 where no ICC events is scheduled and playing the 2020 tournament in 2021 and postponing the 2021 tournament in India to 2022.
The T20 World Cup is slotted from October 18 to November 15 where 16 teams are expected to travel Down Under to compete in the global showpiece of the wham-bang version of cricket. Six teams, including Sri Lanka, will compete in the qualifying round schedule from October 18-23 where the top two teams will join the 10 teams already in the Super 12 segment in vying for the coveted title.
Despite assurance from the tournament organisers of conducting the tournament as planned, there is little hope that the tournament will take place on schedule. If the tournament is pushed back, the most likely scenario, it will directly impact the revenue shares of member boards. Apart from India, England and Australia, most other countries heavily depend on ICC’s revenue shares for survival and how they could deal with such situation will also be deliberated at the board meeting.
Sources said the board will also discussed the Future Tour Programme (FTP) severely hampered by the cancellation of several bilateral tours due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the other matters that will be discussed are the recommendation made by the Cricket Committee in banning the use of saliva to shine the ball and the election procedure to appoint the next ICC Chairman. Sources said incumbent chairman Shashank Manohar has decided against re-election and Englishman Collin Graves is his likely successor.