As the clouds of uncertainty hover over the future of the cricket calendar, particularly, on the future of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 – former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has given brilliant advice regarding the scheduling of the quadrennial extravaganza. Gavaskar believes that India can swap the T20 World Cup with Australia and host it this year instead of the scheduled 2021 edition, provided the COVID-19 curve flattens in the country. The outbreak has resulted in all cricketing activities getting suspended around the world and it appears highly unlikely that Australia will be able to host this year’s edition of the tournament. Also Read - IND vs NZ | Would've Gone With Bhuvneshwar Kumar Only For WTC Final: Sunil Gavaskar
To stop the spread of the deadly virus in the country, Australia has sealed its borders for the next six months and imposed travel restrictions. As per ICC’s Future Tour Programme (FTP), the two T20 World Cups are scheduled to be held in successive years — 2020 in Australia and 2021 in India. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Kevin Pietersen Takes Dig at ICC Over Scheduling of WTC Final in Southampton, Suggests Another Venue For 'Incredibly Important Match'
“At the moment, as we all know, Australia has barred foreigners from entering the country till the 30th of September. The tournament is starting from mid-October or the 3rd week of October, so it’s looking a bit difficult at the moment,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by India Today. Also Read - IND vs NZ | It Seems World Test Championship Final Will End up as Draw: Sunil Gavaskar
The legendary India opener suggested that India can host the T20 World Cup in 2020 while Australia can host the next edition, which is originally slated to be held in India next year. This is contingent to coronavirus threat being minimalist in India.
“If it can be done… next year’s T20 World Cup is in India. If it can be done… where India and Australia come to an agreement… in case the curve in India flattens out and India and Australia swap… so the T20 World Cup is in India in October-November this year and Australia in October-November next year, then it can happen,” he said.
The 70-year-old cricketer also batted for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held just before the T20 World Cup, so that players get enough match practice before the multi-national event. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cash-rich league has been currently being indefinitely postponed by the BCCI.
“If it is going to happen that way, then maybe what can happen is the IPL can be held just prior to the T20 World Cup so that it’s enough practice for the players to have T20 World Cup,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar also pitched in for the postponement of Asia Cup 2020. He feels the organisers can look at an alternate window to host the continental tournament, scheduled to be held in September. Pakistan have the hosting rights for the continental T20 tournament which will be held in the United Arab Emirates.
“Then the Asia Cup can be held in December in the UAE. That’s a much better time to have the tournament than in September when it can be extremely hot,” Gavaskar said.