PCB chief Ehsan Mani says T20 World Cup "wouldn't be possible this year"

The pessimism regarding the showpiece event is down to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

T20 World Cup is due to be played from October 18 till November 15 | AFPPakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Ehsan Mani, said he doesn't see how the T20 World Cup can be played on time in Australia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 16-team event is scheduled to take place down under from October 18 to November 15 this year. 

But with the deadly outbreak resulting in an unprecedented health crisis and posing massive logistical challenges for the organisers, that seems unlikely at this stage. 

Read Also: New Zealand Sports Minister speaks on replacing Australia as T20 World Cup host 

"We have had a lot of discussions and the feeling is it (T20 World Cup) would not be possible this year. ICC has World Cups lined up in 2021 and 2023, so we have a gap year where we can adjust this event," Mani told reporters. 

Even if say travelling restrictions are lifted for cricket teams on a special basis for involvement in the event, putting in place quarantine arrangements and creating a bio-secure bubble for multiple sides at different venues in Australia is a much more difficult task than it is for a bilateral series. 

"Having a bio-bubble environment is feasible for say a bilateral series like Pakistan in England, but it is very difficult when 16 teams are involved," Mani stressed. 

Cricket Australia (CA) chairman, Earl Eddings, also thinks it is "unlikely" that the T20 World Cup will happen as scheduled in such circumstances. 

"I would say it is unlikely...trying to get (teams from) 16 countries into Australia when most countries are still going through COVID spiking is unrealistic or very, very difficult," he said. 

The ICC has deferred a decision on the fate of the showpiece event till July. The governing body wants to take its time exploring various contingency plans before arriving at a final call for a tournament of this magnitude. 

Mani said another conference call is scheduled for next week between all stakeholders and discussions are still ongoing on the matter. 

"The thing is the ICC and member boards are stakeholders and then there are the broadcasters as key stakeholders as well. They are looking at their position and what is best for them."

"We are also taking into consideration views of associate member countries who get shares from the event. I expect a final decision in three to four weeks time," he added. 

(Inputs from PTI)


By Kashish Chadha - 18 Jun, 2020

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