DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – To no surprise, the men’s Twenty20 World Cup in October in Australia has been delayed for 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cricket Australia cast doubt in May on the chances of it going ahead on schedule from Oct. 18 to Nov. 15. It will be played in the same months in 2021, the International Cricket Council said on Monday.
It was going to be risky to gather 15 other nations with different levels of the coronavirus in Australia, where the state of Victoria was currently under lockdown after a new surge in cases. Victoria is to stage the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The postponement has led to a reshaping of the men’s international calendar in order to accommodate bilateral series which have been postponed everywhere since March except in England.
The T20 World Cup scheduled for November 2021 will take place in 2022, while the Cricket World Cup scheduled for February and March 2023 in India will go ahead in October and November that year.
“Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said. “Moving the men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. 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.”
Sawhney said the ICC worked closely with key stakeholders, including several governments and medical experts to reschedule three World Cups and “reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans.”
Delaying the T20 World Cup for a year will encourage other cricket boards to organize bilateral test series which are part of the world test championship. India might also be able to find a slot for its lucrative Indian Premier League, which was postponed indefinitely in April.