ICC Board meeting: Decision on T20 World Cup highly unlikely

The ICC T20 World Cup in Australia and formalisation of the election process to the Chair are the key items on agenda as the ICC Board will meet via teleconferencing later today.  However, the possibility of a decision on the T20 World Cup in Australia this year is highly unlikely.

The meeting will start at 3:30 pm (IST), 2:00 pm Dubai time. While the process and dates for the elections will be formalised today, there is no likelihood that ICC will be able to arrive at a consensus on the T20 World Cup. The decision would eventually be made by the members and not the ICC alone.

Even as the ICC has officially dismissed speculation about the postponement of the T20 World Cup 2020, the board will deliberate on the challenges posed to the event by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the 16-team tournament is highly unlikely in October-November this year, the Board will discuss the next possible dates for the event. No announcement on rescheduling can be made before the next dates are finalised.

Finding the next window is no lesser a challenge than hosting the World Cup in Australia this year. A March-April window next year will precede Indian Premier League next year and it might not be commercially viable to have two premier T20 competitions back to back. Pakistan Cricket Board too will not agree to a March-April date as it would jeopardise the Pakistan Super League. There is a section within the ICC Board that will root for PCB’s interest.

India later next year is slated to host the next edition of the T20 World Cup in October-November. So there is no other window for the event in Australia next year. In that case the event in Australia will have to be moved to early 2022. But that will also be the year of the ICC World Cup in the 50-over format.

“There is no possibility of ICC arriving at a consensus on the T20 World Cup 2020 in today’s meeting,” a source privy to the development has told SportzFront.

Question of rescheduling the World Cup is a tricky one. While host Australia is finding it tough to host 16 teams amidst measures to deal with COVDI-19 threat, there are other challenges around other possible dates.

The election for the ICC Independent chairman is round the corner. Existing independent chairman Shashank Manohar has confirmed that he will not seek another extension after his present term ends in July. The ICC Board during a teleconferencing on Tuesday had discussed the matter. The meeting, also attended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly, had not arrived at any conclusion. The board today will finalise the election process.

In a significant development from India’s perspective Ganguly was included in the ICC board as a member. He will become an ICC director after today’s meeting. That will clear decks for him to contest for the ICC Independent chair.

Ganguly along with England’s Colin Graves is considered the front runner to replace Manohar as the ICC independent chair.

When Manohar was elected for two successive terms as the independent chairman of the ICC, it was mandatory for the candidate to be a past ICC director and should not be holding any position in any of the member boards.

Ganguly presently is holding the position of the BCCI president, and he has also not been a director in the ICC. The process of the Chair’s election will be finalised at today’s meeting.

 

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