The International Cricket Council hosted a Chief Executives’ Committee meeting via conference call today as members came together to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sport. Also Read - ICC's Guidelines 'Weird And Off-putting' But Health And Safety More Important: MCC Chief Kumar Sangakkara
During the call, the CEOs of the 12 Full Members and three Associate representatives confirmed their full commitment to work in partnership to address the challenges the sport will face in the coming weeks and months. The meeting heard updates from all attendees regarding the current situation in their own countries. Also Read - ECB in Talks With ICC to Allow Coronavirus Substitutes in Upcoming Tests
The CEC was updated on the continuing contingency planning for all ICC global events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021. Planning for both events as currently scheduled is ongoing. Also Read - 'What's More Important? Cricket or Dealing With Coronavirus?' - BCCI, ICC in Heated Dispute Over Tax Exemption
There was agreement that the disrupted FTP program would need to be collectively reviewed through to 2023 with a view to rescheduling as much of the cricket that has been postponed due to COVID-19 as possible.
Discussions and decisions on this and 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.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “I am grateful to my fellow CEOs for their clear commitment to a unified approach to steering cricket through this pandemic. 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.”
Chair of the ICC Medical Committee, Dr Peter Harcourt provided a general medical update to the meeting. He said: “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.
“Our next step is to create a roadmap for the resumption of international cricket which will include a criteria for decision making and a checklist for what needs to happen. This will consider everything from player preparation to government restrictions and advisories and bio-bubbles.”
“The scale and complexity of getting cricket started again cannot be underestimated particularly with respect to a global event. The more teams, venues and cities involved in an event, the greater the risk which has to be assessed and managed.”
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said: “Cricket Australia is working closely with the ICC, the Local Organising Committee and the Australian government so we 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.”
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “Today’s meeting was the first step in a longer-term process that will enable us to take a joined up approach to decision making as we shape our response to this pandemic to get cricket back on an even keel.
“There has never been a more important time for our global cricket community to be unified and there was a clear commitment from colleagues on today’s call to work in the collective best interest of our sport.”
(With agency inputs)