The confusion caused by the coronavirus pandemic is hitting the international cricket calendar hard, with next year’s ICC Women’s World Cup also in serious doubt now. It’s highly unlikely that the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup will go ahead as scheduled in October this year in Australia.
The subsequent postponement of the men’s event could mean that the Women’s World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in February-March 2021, could be pushed back.
According to a report in Stuff.co.nz, the current crop of women's players believe that the two big events aren't likely to take place concurrently.
“It depends on what happens to the men's T20 World Cup, that could have an impact on the women's World Cup,” Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz.
“If that (men's T20) tournament is postponed to next year, it's pretty hard to think two world events are feasible to run at about the same time. I would imagine those events can't be played concurrently.
“It's really hard to have a gut feel of where things might go. In the scheme of things a World Cup seems a bit irrelevant given everything else that has gone on,” Ellyse Perry added.
A final decision on the two World Cup tournaments is yet to be taken
According to the schedule, the White Ferns are to play the tournament opener against an unconfirmed opponent on February 6, with the final scheduled for March 7 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Ellyse Perry added Australia will continue to prepare by assuming that the World Cup is happening next summer and adjust accordingly if the timing changes. New Zealand Cricket ha also said that they are preparing for the tournament to go ahead as per the original schedule.
Nick Hockley, the head of the T20 World Cup organising committee, who was appointed Cricket Australia’s (CA) interim chief executive, said they have contingency plans ready despite the uncertainty surrounding the event.
“It's really complicated. We're doing a lot of work and providing analysis for the ICC but it's ultimately a decision that will be made by the ICC board," Nick Hockley said.
The ICC board met a week ago, deferring a decision on the two World Cups until July. Cricket Australia is among many boards keen for a call to be made on the tournaments.
Meanwhile, Nick Hockley also confirmed that if 15 teams are allowed to enter Australia for the T20 World Cup later this year, the cricket fans will not be stopped from entering the stadium to watch their favourite stars in action.
The CA interim chief executive said different possibilities are being worked out for the T20 World Cup to go ahead as scheduled later this year, and one of them is to host the tournament before empty stands in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.Published 20 Jun 2020, 13:24 IST