Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday said it accepts the ICC’s decision to postpone the T20 World Cup owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterating that there is considerable risk in hosting 16 teams “in the current environment.”

The T20 World Cup was supposed to be held from 18 October to 15 November in Australia.

The ICC is yet to decide on whether India and Australia will swap the 2021 and 2022 editions between them, both of which will be held in the October-November window.

Cricket not immune to COVID-19

“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting sporting tournaments across the globe and cricket is not immune [to it],” CA’s interim chief executive and chief executive of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020, Nick Hockley, said in a statement.

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“The complexities and risks around hosting a 16-team international event in October in the current environment ultimately proved sufficient for the ICC to postpone the event,” he added.

The CA had in the month of May itself expressed its inability to host the tournament amid a second surge of COVID-19 cases in the State of Victoria. “We accept the ICC’s decision to postpone the T20 World Cup in Australia. It was a decision made with the safety and well-being of fans, players, officials and staff in mind. We are confident that with this decision, we will give ourselves the best chance to safely welcome fans into the outstanding venues across the country to enjoy watching the world’s best men’s cricketers compete in this major global event in either 2021 or 2022,” Hockley said.

‘Ground-breaking moment’

Australia successfully hosted the Women’s T20 World Cup in February-March this year and the country aims to do the same with the men’s event. “A lot of hard work has gone into hosting the tournament in Australia this year and I would like to thank everyone involved for their passion and commitment. The ICC women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year will forever be remembered as a ground-breaking moment in Australian sport, and I have no doubt the men’s edition will also be a spectacular event,” Hockley said.

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In May, CA announced the much-anticipated six-month home summer schedule, which includes a full series against India.

“Cricket Australia now looks forward to hosting a safe and successful summer of bilateral cricket,” Hockley said.