T20 World Cup postponed due to coronavirus

With the T20 World Cup now out of the way, the BCCI can begin firming up plans for the Indian Premier League to go ahead.

File image of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 trophy   -  Getty Images

The T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in Australia in October-November 2020, has formally been postponed to 2022. The International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) much-anticipated announcement after the Board meeting on Monday has also cleared the decks for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reschedule the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the same window.

Besides rescheduling the T20 World Cup to October-November, 2022 the ICC Board also decided to push the 2023 ODI World Cup in India to October-November 2023 from its designated window in February-March, 2023.

“Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup (2023) to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.

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“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.”

Interestingly, the ICC statement didn’t specify venues for the T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022. While India has been originally awarded the tournament, both India and Australia have staked a claim to stage the event in 2021. While BCCI has cited the need to space out two big cricket events in India if it hosts the T20 World Cup in 2022, Cricket Australia would avoid hosting the marquee event just before the Ashes in 2022.

As of now, India has the right to stage the event in 2021 since the ICC has extended the deadline to BCCI for acquiring tax exemptions from the Central government till December 31.

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IPL preparation set to begin

Monday’s announcement would result in the BCCI and franchises switching into the IPL mode. The BCCI has shortlisted two windows (September 26 to November 7 and September 26 to November 14) and it will formally approach the Central government for clearance once the IPL governing council, likely to meet later this week, formally proposes United Arab Emirates as the venue.

“Now that the T20 World Cup has formally been postponed, something that should have happened much earlier, we can try and explore whether the IPL can be staged. The governing council will discuss it later this week,” Brijesh Patel, IPL governing council chairman, told Sportstar.

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