Discussions may be held over shifting the T20 World Cup to 2022 in the next ICC board meeting, scheduled for May 28, a member of the governing body told PTI at the condition of anonymity, as the tournament remains greatly uncertain at this stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICC's flagship event is due to be played from October 18 till November 15 in Australia, where there is an official six-month lockdown in place because of the deadly outbreak.
The ICC board meeting, it is understood, will kickstart with the governing body's Cricket Committee discussing the possible ban on using saliva, sweat to maintain the shine of the ball, before the head of the Events' Committee, Chris Tetley, will present multiple options regarding the T20 World Cup.
"We are expecting three options from the ICC Events Committee. First option is having World T20 as per schedule with 14-day quarantine with crowd being allowed. The back-up for this option could be tournament in-front of empty stadium. The third option could be shifting the tournament to 2022," a board member privy to the developments said.
Possible two-month extension to the stay of ICC chairman Shashank Manohar will also be discussed. But the major bone of the contention will remain the fate of the T20 World Cup.
If indeed the marquee event is suspended, Cricket Australia (CA) and the BCCI will rejoice over the news, given it creates more space in the calendar for the IPL 2020 and also India's scheduled Test series down under.
"CA wouldn’t be too unhappy if the World T20 is shifted to 2022. At the end of the day, ICC is made up of members. If members decide that bilateral series are more important, you can’t discount that," the ICC board member said.
"Also ICC might find its cash flow being hampered but it’s a short-term problem. If the tournament happens in 2022, the parent body doesn’t lose anything because it’s deferment, not postponement."
When the pandemic firmed its grip, it is the T20 World Cup that was always the most vulnerable, given the logistical challenges.
"The costs of quarantine arrangements for 16 teams with support staff plus TV crew will be huge. Add to that if in some of the countries, normalcy doesn’t return, whether travelling will be safe by then."
“So it can’t be postponed by a few months, say February-March, 2021. It’s not a great idea as we have Women’s ODI World Cup and the two ICC events should not clash. The Women’s World Cup is a much safer bet, there will only be eight teams," concluded the ICC board member.
(Inputs from PTI)