A day ahead of the all important ICC meeting the road map for world cricket is now almost clear. Having taken into account the points of view of all stakeholders what has emerged as the most likely scenario is that the T20 world cup to be held in October will most likely be pushed back to 2022.
This is because there is already a T20 world cup scheduled in October 2021 in India and to schedule two world cups of the same format in one year seems improper. Till a few days back there was talk that the T-20 world cup will be pushed back to February-March.
However, this is unlikely now for the reason that the current market scenario is not ready to support two world cups within 6 months, a point of concern for the host broadcaster Star Sports. If the IPL happens in India in October, Star, sources confirm, is apprehensive of broadcasting 2 IPL in 6 months and 2 World Cups in 2021.
The market, which is at its lowest at the moment isn’t in a position to support the scheduling. As a result the world cup will be moved to 2022. The works for everyone. First, the tournament will be postponed, not cancelled. This means cricket’s finances won’t be badly hit. Second there was no world event in 2022.
Under this scheduling India will host a T20 world cup in 2021, Australia will host the event in 2022 and then again India will host the 50 over world cup in 2023. This call has been largely influenced by market concerns and the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is likely to support this scheduling in the ICC meeting on 28 May 2020.
This opens up the door for the IPL. The BCCI or the broadcasters are not willing to jump the gun at the moment and will take things with a lot of caution. They will closely monitor the Covid situation in the country with the monsoon coming and will be in close contact with the government.
If the virus situation does not spiral out of control, the IPL can well become a reality in October and a formal announcement will be made in July with back channel preparations starting in June. However, this depends entirely on how the virus situation evolves in India because the IPL involves a serious organisational effort with movement of personnel, players and crew.
Coming to bilateral cricket, it is now almost certain that bilateral cricket will resume shortly. India is in talks with South Africa for a tour in August but that’s not final yet. However, under the new scheduling India’s tour of Australia and England’s tour of India, two of the biggest series in the world cricket calendar, remain intact and there will be no need to tinker with them.
Whether or not India will play in one venue in Australia will be a call that will be taken later but the tour is very likely to go ahead with the team traveling 14 days in advance to complete a period of quarantine as per government regulations in Australia. Sources confirm talks are already on between Sourav Ganguly and Kevin Roberts on the schedule of India’s travel to Australia.
So as the ICC meeting takes center stage, world cricket is clearly aiming to come out of lockdown and resume contests with a fresh outlook and a fresh guard.