2020 has been the year to remember as a nightmare for sporting events, organizers, fans around the world. For the first time ever since World War II, the Summer Olympic Games and Wimbledon have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has almost erased all the sporting events. Even, the Euro 2020 football championships have also been pushed by a year, as the world’s most popular game has all but come to a standstill.
However, the cricket world is not exceptional. It has also seen mega-events getting canceled with the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was scheduled to start from March 29 but has been postponed due to the pandemic. But wait what about the T20 World Cup! The International Cricket Council (ICC) admitted that it was “exploring all options” to make ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2020 happen amid the speculation going around to postpone the tournament.
There will be a major financial crisis in the world of cricket if the event does not take place and the most affected nation will be Australia. It was reported that the Cricket Australia (CA) had suffered a $12.58 million loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first of three ODI matches against New Zealand was played behind closed doors at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 13 before the final two fixtures were postponed.
In addition to that, it had laid off almost 80% of staff, putting them on 20% pay until June 30 and its financial reserves had also seen a dip in the world's stock markets caused by this pandemic. Though all the sports in Australia has been hit hard due to the lockdown, it seems like the cricket will be the most affected sport other than any sport in terms of finance as it is going to host the mega event- T20 World Cup.
It is supposed to kick-start from October 18 to November 15 but the uncertainty of it happening looms over because of the pandemic. On the other hand, Aussies will not only host the World Cup but also the India's four-test tour around the New Year. If these events are delayed then CA will face monetary loss and guess what the chances are high of the event not taking place this year at least for now. Having said that, there is a possibility of the event played behind-closed-doors but it will not help CA to overcome the financial loss.
Postponement on Cards?
As many as eight options for the T20 World Cup were on the table during a meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 12 full ICC members and three associate members. Out of eight options, the members agreed for three options.
"Even though it’s a bit early but three options have been shortlisted. The first is to stick to the original Oct-Nov schedule and the second is to the tournament in Feb-March next year. The third and last option that was zeroed in on is to stage the tournament in 2022," one of the persons, who was part of the meeting, was quoted as saying.
"Most likely, they (ICC and member Boards) will move towards hosting the T20 World Cup in Feb-March," the source added.
On the brighter side, the postponement of the event will open up a window for the IPL. If the event is staged in September-October then it can provide as a preparatory ground for the T20 World Cup.
No final decision was taken in the meeting and the ICC will continue to review the situation but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the T20 World Cup may be moved to Feb-March 2021.
Get ready, the cricket fans for another heartbreak!