As anticipated, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to postpone this year’s T20 World Cup that was scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November. The decision, taken after four months of monitoring, was arrived at an ICC board meeting held virtually on Monday. It also paves the way for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host this year’s Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.
The ICC also shifted the dates of the 2023 ODI World Cup in India from February-March to October-November with the final on November 26. “Moving the World Cup to a later window … gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process,” Sawhney said. “This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.”
This means there could be three consecutive ICC World Cup years, the T20 versions in 2021 and 2022 and the 50-over version in 2023. “Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket,” Sawhney said. A decision on whether India continues to host the 2021 T20 World Cup or whether that will go to Australia, will be taken later.