The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Thursday deferred a decision on all agenda items, including the fate of the T20 World Cup in Australia, till June 10. After months of uncertainty, the world body of cricket – ICC was expected to finally decide on the fate of the men’s 2020 World T20 in Australia with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday. The flagship event was slated to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15. Also Read - T20 World Cup Set to be Postponed as Australia Cricketers Asked to Start Preparing For England Tour
It is also learnt that most of the discussion on the day was pertaining to classified information, including internal e-mails, being leaked, an issue that outgoing chairman Shashank Manohar as well as board members addressed. Also Read - Have no Reason to Doubt Integrity of 2011 WC Final: ICC
The ICC in its release said: “A number of board members had raised their concerns over this issue recently and felt it required immediate attention to ensure the sanctity and confidentiality of board matters in line with the highest standards of governance.” Also Read - 'A Humble Man Who Wore His Greatness Lightly' - Cricket World Mourns Death of Everton Weekes
“There was unanimous agreement to immediately initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC’s Ethics Officer and supported by global experts. The board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020.
The World Cup is scheduled from October 18 to November 15 but there is intense speculation about the event being postponed due to the pandemic and the window being used by the currently suspended IPL.
“The Board also requested the ICC management continue with their discussions with stakeholders in exploring various contingency options in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the COVID 19 virus.”
In fact, the ICC’s Ethics Officer will be probing the media leaks.
“There was unanimous agreement to immediately initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC’s Ethics Officer and supported by global experts. The Board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020,” it further stated.
It is understood that ICC board discussed all options with regards to the World Cup but there was no unanimity on whether to go ahead with the World T20 as per schedule or postpone it to 2021 or possibly 2022, which for many is a practical solution.
With Cricket Australia announcing their itinerary on the day, which included T20 matches in October, there are questions as to why the World T20 cannot go ahead in such a scenario.
“If you look at the Australian itinerary, India’s T20 games are scheduled in mid-October before the start of World T20. If you can play T20 games in mid-October, why is it not safe to play World T20,” a source privy to the development was quoted by PTI.
The next T20 World Cup is slated to be played in India in 2021. And if the event doesn’t happen in 2020, this edition will be held in 2022. Indian Premier League (IPL) 13th edition got also stalled due to ongoing situation.