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ICC report continued contingency planning for T20 World Cup as scheduled

April 29th, 2020Cricket
The International Cricket Council report that they will continue to plan towards staging the men's T20 World Cup in Australia between 18th of October and 15th November this year, along with the Women's World Cup in New Zealand from 6th of February to 7th of March 2021. Planning, the ICC says, is continuing in conjunction with representatives from the twelve full member playing countries plus 3 associates and reiterated their commitment to tackle the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. At a recent ICC-hosted Chief Executives' Committee meeting, the international cricket body was quick to emphasise that all decisions over the futures of what are complex tournaments to stage, not only in terms of scale but more importantly, the ability to guarantee the wellbeing of players and support staff, would be taken based on the most recent and best information possible. This would encompass latest medical science, current pandemic status in terms of sociological and sporting impact across cricketing nations, along with individual government public health & safety policies relative to social distancing, transport & travel and size of gatherings, sports or otherwise.

The future of the men's T20 World Cup is certainly under the microscope given the global spread of Covid-19 pushing Australia’s government into shutting down its international borders provisionally for a period of six months.

As the meeting broke up, ICC CEO Manu Sawhney, spoke frankly to media on the key matters arising:

 "We will work in partnership for the best outcomes for the sport in relation to both ICC events and bilateral cricket.”

"We agreed on the importance of taking well informed, responsible decisions in relation to the resumption of international cricket. The complexities involved in being able to stage ICC global events are extensive to ensure we protect the health and safety of everyone involved and they will be carefully considered before any decisions are arrived at in the best interests of the game."

Kevin Roberts CEO of Cricket Australia went on to add:

"Cricket Australia is working closely with the ICC, the Local Organising Committee and the Australian government so we [can] have a comprehensive understanding of exactly what it will take to be able to play the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 in October in Australia as planned.

"We are also jointly exploring all other options in relation to staging the event and will take the right decisions at the right time so we can host a wonderful celebration of the sport and keep everyone involved safe and well."

Chair of the ICC Medical Committee, Dr Peter Harcourt, reemphasised the fact that no one should underestimate the sheer convoluted magnitude of the process required to revive cricket across the globe. He identified that the ICC's next stage in the planning of what was an enormous event would be the production of a roadmap toward the resumption of international cricket, accompanied by a list of actions that needed to be concluded to enable this to happen.

Harcourt expanded on the components of ICC’s action plan:

"This will consider everything from player preparation to government restrictions and advisories and bio-bubbles."

"The situation is rapidly evolving and full of significant risk as there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 which can make decision making difficult. The ICC Medical Committee is working with Member medical representatives to build a comprehensive picture of the issues cricket is facing."

The CEC committee confirmed it had received a variety of updates detailing on-the-ground conditions currently prevailing within each participating country. They also agreed that the already disrupted Future Tours programme, running through to 2023, should be collectively reviewed with the objective of rescuing and rescheduling as much of the cricket postponed due to Covid-19 as possible.

 A press release issued by the ICC read as follows:

"Discussions and decisions on the future of both the World Test Championship and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League will be held at a later date when there is a greater understanding of the impact of the cricket that has been lost on the competitions."

One thing is certain the ICC is preparing to move mountains to ensure that both events go ahead as well as cricket in general, don’t forget to register your interest in the event and allow Expat Sport to keep you posted.