Coronavirus: ICC plans for 2020 T20 World Cup and 2021 Women’s World Cup to go ahead as scheduled

Plans for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in October as planned remain in place but organisers in Australia are “exploring all other options” given uncertainty over global health.

A meeting of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executives’ committee was held via conference call on Thursday, with the money-spinning men’s tournament one of the leading issues for discussion.

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The Women’s World Cup in 2021 has greater breathing space given its place in the calendar – it is due to taken place in New Zealand next February – and a statement confirmed that preparations continue for both events to take place as scheduled.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and with several major nations in lockdown, the idea of a 16-team tournament of 45 matches in 29 days beginning in under six months might seem improbable and, as such, a series of alternatives are also being discussed behind the scenes.

Postponement is unattractive given the packed international calendar and the existential importance of shared central revenues to most of the national boards, but it is one of several options that will be given serious attention in the coming weeks.

Speaking after the meeting, Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said: “CA 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.”

Chief executives from each of the 12 full member nations spoke about their present situation, while three representatives stood for the associate nations. Dr Peter Harcourt, chair of the ICC medical committee, also offered a presentation outlining some of the necessary steps which would need to taken to allow competitive cricket in the event of an upturn in the global situation.

An agreement was reached that the future tours programme, governing fixtures up to 2023 would “need to be collectively reviewed” with a commitment to rescheduling rather than cancelling.

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