Australia welcomes ‘clarity’ of T20 World Cup postponement

FILE PHOTO: Cricket – England v West Indies – World Twenty20 cricket tournament final – Kolkata, India – 03/04/2016. West Indies captain Darren Sammy (3rd L) receives the trophy from Zaheer Abbas, President of International Cricket Council (ICC), after they won the final. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

MELBOURNE, July 21 (Reuters) – Cricket Australia (CA) said on Tuesday it welcomed the “clarity” given by the postponement of the Twenty20 World Cup but would not be drawn on whether it preferred to stage the delayed event in 2021 or 2022.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday postponed the tournament scheduled in Australia for October-November, acknowledging the logistical challenges of hosting 16 teams amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The ICC said Australia and India would host T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 but it was undecided who would host which.

“We absolutely welcome the clarity, which is obviously important to make sure we can plan and deliver the best possible summer we can,” CA interim CEO Nick Hockley told reporters on a video call.

“It goes back to safety and getting the best possible understand of the health situation and working with the latest and best available information.”

India, who will host the 50-over World Cup in 2023, was to stage the T20 event in 2021 in the original calendar.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is keen to stick to that schedule to avoid holding back-to-back events in 2022 and 2023.

“In terms of 2021 versus 2022 we just want to see two great events go ahead in India and Australia,” Hockley said.

“If it’s 21, the plans are really, really well progressed — we’re really well placed to deliver on that.

“But …. equally, if it’s 2022, it will be a fantastic event.

“In many ways it gives a little bit more time to create even more additional certainty around it, the health situation, because I think one thing, no-one knows how long this is going to last.”

Attention will next turn to the fate of other upcoming tournaments, including the 50-over Women’s World Cup scheduled for Feb. 6-March 7 in New Zealand.

New Zealand Cricket Chairman Greg Barclay told New Zealand Radio on Tuesday that a decision on whether it goes ahead would be made within two weeks.