As momentum starts building to postpone the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 from its October-November schedule, Pakistan Cricket Board would be the last cricketing entity to support the move. March-April next year are expected to be the likely revised dates for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Former Australian captain and ex-director of Cricket Australia Mark Taylor has reiterated on Sunday that the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 is unlikely to go ahead this year and urged the ICC to take a call on it this week.
If the T20 World Cup 2020 is postponed, which now appears an inevitable likelihood due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India will be the biggest gainer as it gets a window to stage the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League during October-November. Since, the period was blocked for the World Cup in the global cricket itinerary, BCCI will have to break no sweat for getting international players and a nod from the national cricket bodies.
BCCI’s gain can certainly become PCB’s loss. March and April next year are being seen as an expected window to reschedule the deferred World Cup. This will derail PCB’s plans for the Pakistan Super League 2021. The PCB is contemplating to add at least one more team to its domestic professional league and stage matches in at least three more cities during April and May.
A rescheduled World Cup in March-April next year will directly clash with the dates being considered by PCB for the PSL. If ICC decides to stage the World Cup in March-April or April-May, the PCB will have not other option but to look for another schedule for its domestic professional league.
India is also scheduled to stage the next edition of the T20 World Cup in October-November next year. The packed cricket calendar that would see national cricket boards working on rescheduling bilateral series suspended on account of the Covid-19 threat will leave the PCB with little option to have another time-frame for the PSL.
That is one reason that Pakistan cricket administration would never be prepared to back an inevitable rescheduling of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020.
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Mibah-ul-Haq has already stated that the authorities must not postpone the T20 World Cup. Since it’s not possible to argue about about the direct impact the rescheduling will have on the PSL, Misbah has pleaded decision should not be taken in haste since the showpiece event is the best product to highlight cricket once activities resume.
“The logistics of hosting 16 teams is not easy but the authorities should give it time and wait for a month or more before taking any decision,” Misbah has reportedly said in an interview to Youtube channel, Cricket Baaz.
“Everyone wants to see the T20 World Cup. It would be the best product to highlight cricket once activities resume internationally,” he said. “There is a feeling of depression right now all over the world because of this Covid-19 problem and with sports suspended there is no entertainment. People want to move on so I think we must give it a try.”
The T20 World Cup 2020 is among the items on agenda as the ICC Board meet on May 28. Taylor in an interview to Australia’s Channel 9 has suggested that “it would probably be good (if a decision is made this week). Because then everyone can start planning and we can stop sitting here and saying ‘well ifs, buts or maybes’.”
Taylor further hinted that the window created by rescheduling of the T20 World Cup could best be used for the IPL.
“The Cricket Australia board will want to keep India happy. So they may want to let the players go to India if the IPL goes ahead,” Taylor said. “Because they want India to come here this summer and play, which will be our biggest summer in terms of dollars. That’s the sort of discussion going on. No doubt.”
India are scheduled to arrive in Australia for a Test tour starting November, which will go along way in addressing CA’s financial woes triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. CA is also requesting India to play an additional match on the tour.