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ICC postpones Twenty20 World Cup

ICC postpones Twenty20 World Cup
July 20, 2020

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today advised that the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup, due to be held in Australia in October and November this year, has been postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Cancellation of the latest major international sporting event impacted by COVID-19, was today confirmed by the IBC Board, the commercial subsidiary of the ICC and follows the ICC’s exploration of contingency plans following Cricket Australia’s acknowledgement of the logistical challenges involved in staging a 16-team tournament amid travel and other restrictions this year.

As a result, there will be back-to-back men's T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 before the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023, with the windows for the next three events agreed in an attempt to bring clarity 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.

With the 2022 T20World Cup also due to be staged in India, the ICC did not indicate where the 2021 edition would be played.

In addition, the cancellation of this year’s event means the Indian Premier League’s 2020 competition can now take place in the October/November timeslot.

In a statement advising of the decision, ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney advised “we have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport.

“The decision … 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.”

The IBC Board is also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.

Sawhney went on to advise “our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.

“Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, Members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans.”

The IBC Board is also continuing to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.

Images: The MCG, shown here during the Boxing Day test, was to have hosted the final of this year's Men’s T20 World Cup (top) and the tournament logo (below).

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