The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be hosted by Australia between October and November this year was postponed due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Cricket Council announced.
Though Australia has not been adversely affected by the pandemic compared to other countries, it is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 infections and a spike in community transmission. It has so far reported more than 12,000 confirmed cases and more than 120 deaths.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said the number one priority remained the protection of the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport.
“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world,” Sawhney said.
The ICC also announced the dates for the windows for the next three ICC men’s events “to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19.”
The next T20 World Cups will be held in October-November 2021 and October-November 2022 while the Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India in October–November 2023. The 2023 Cricket World Cup was moved in order to allow for a longer qualification period.
The ODI Super League, which serves as a qualifying tournament for the Cricket World Cup, was scheduled to run from May 2020 to March 2022, but pushed forward as cricket and sport around the world ground to a halt due to the pandemic.
The ICC, however, failed to announce the hosts for the two T20 World Cups with India originally being selected as hosts for the 2021 tournament. It is yet to be decided, between India and Australia, who will host which edition.
“The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022,” the ICC said.
Reports suggest India prefers to host the 2021 edition in order to avoid the complexities of hosting two major ICC tournaments in successive years.
The ICC also confirmed that the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year will go on as planned as the board continues to evaluate the situation.