The ICC T20 World Cup 2020, which was to be played in Australia starting October this year, is all set to be postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. It will not be held in the October-November window, as scheduled, and an official announcement on these lines can be expected in the coming week.
However, no confirmation is being made on when this edition of the ICC T20 world event will be held.
There are three options being discussed at the moment:
1. Cricket Australia may schedule the T20 World Cup next year in 2021 during February-March. But it coincides with the IPL 2021, which begins in April and may also put England’s tour to India in a problem. Also the broadcaster Star Sports may not agree given that it holds the rights to ICC events as well as India's bilateral calendar.
2. BCCI agrees to switch the World Cups, letting Australia hold the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup and in turn host the 2022 edition. However, the idea is not feasible given that BCCI is already working on the India tour Down Under later this year. "There's no reason why India will agree to switch the T20 World Cups", say those tracking developments.
All the ICC member boards will meet in a teleconference and a formal announcement is to be made between May 26 and 28. Given that the Australian borders have been shut until September and stringent rules dictating a 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling into the country, there isn't enough time and space to get the ball rolling for the 16-team event.
"And then of course, there are logistics and hospitality to take care of. If the tournament would've happened, it'd have been played to empty stands and that doesn't make sense for Australia because they lose out on massive gate revenue. Right now, what they'll be getting out of the tournament is the hosting and participation fee (latter is applicable to all participating boards). They can earn that money whenever the tournament is held next, possibly some gate revenue too," say sources tracking developments.
Postponement of the T20 World Cup presents an empty window in October and November, one that the BCCI might look to capitalize on. Borrowing from the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) idea to send a charter to Pakistan to fly them to England for the Test series in August, the BCCI too will not mind chartering an airplane to Australia and the Caribbean to fly the players in for IPL.
(Times of India inputs)