Coronavirus: ICC working with Member Boards to revise cricket calendar

The ICC and Member Boards are on the same page and believe that these are merely “sensible steps” any sport would take when looking at an uncertain future.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has to come up with contingency plans for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later in the year.   -  Facebook/ @icc

Cricket faces its greatest crisis as the world battles the dreaded COVID-19. The International Cricket Council (ICC) not only has the challenge of reworking the World Test Championship (WTC) and the ICC Men’s Cricket Super League but also has to come up with contingency plans for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later in the year.

That the one-day League, which is part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) and was to commence in May, needs rescheduling, is a no-brainer, while the WTC is also hit mid-way. Sources confirmed to Sportstar on Friday that the world body and Member Boards are working overtime to get the international calendar in order once again.

As things stand, the FTP will have to be revisited as Members begin to understand what can be rescheduled and what can't be. The ICC and Member Boards are on the same page and believe that these are merely “sensible steps” any sport would take when looking at an uncertain future.

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ICC to discuss scenarios with Member Boards next week

Sources have confirmed that the ICC and chief executives of Member Boards will discuss the calendar next week. This will be an opportunity to understand issues without expecting a solution straight away since it is a “continuously evolving situation.”

The ICC official spokesperson told Sportstar: “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. This includes exploring all options available to us based on a range of scenarios connected to the pandemic.

“During this period of uncertainty, our first responsibility is to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community. We will take a safety-first approach to all operations over the coming months.

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The view of the majority of Members, it is understood, is to look at the possibility of exploring opportunities realistically. The 16-team ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15 while the final of the World Test Championship is slated for June 2021 in England. The 13-team one-day league is scheduled to run through to March 2022 and is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification process.

The ICC spokesperson added, “We will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government, and will take decisions at the appropriate time. We will utilize all the data and information available to us to ensure we can take well-informed, responsible decisions that are in the best interests of our sport.”

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