If things improve to an extent that 15 other cricket teams can be allowed to enter Australia for the T20 World Cup, fans won't be barred from turning up in stadiums either, said Cricket Australia's (CA) interim CEO, Nick Hockley.
The T20 World Cup is greatly uncertain at this stage due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially because of the logistical challenges that would be faced in putting in place quarantine arrangements and creating a bio-secure bubble for all teams.
In such circumstances, the shifting of the flagship event to another year within the existing FTP seems imminent, with the ICC set to take a final call on the matter next month.
"The reality is, and we’ve got much more understanding about this in recent weeks, is crowds are most likely to come back before international travel. Our biggest challenge is getting 15 teams into the country,” Hockley told cricket.com.au, weighing in over option to have the tournament behind closed doors.
"If I compare it with the prospect of a bilateral tour, you’re talking about bringing one team in and then playing individual matches. But the prospect of bringing 15 teams in and having six or seven teams in one city at the same time, it’s a much more complex exercise."
Hockley took over his new role earlier this week, replacing Kevin Roberts, who resigned from the post after controversial developments within CA.
"I’ve had very mixed emotions. I was very shocked to be asked (to take over)," he said. "I didn’t see it coming at all, so I probably haven’t had time yet to process it. I feel very sad for Kev (Roberts). On the other hand, I feel this is a massive privilege to be asked, it’s a massive responsibility and a massive opportunity even if it’s only for the next few months."
Hockley didn't clear when asked whether he would like to remain in his new role on a full-time basis, but did say he will relinquish his other post as the CEO of the T20 World Cup Organising Committee.
"My approach throughout my entire career has been to focus on doing the best job I can with what I’ve been tasked with, and the future will look after itself. And I’ll continue the same approach."
"That’s (T20 World Cup) been a real priority over the last 48 hours. We’re reasonably well progressed and we will be appointing an interim (CEO) because you just can’t do both," he concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)