Organisers of the ICC T20 World Cup are optimistic about making it a successful tournament even if the global event is directly competing with Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Men’s T20 World Cup is currently scheduled to be played from October 18 to November 15, but the dates have now come under doubts due to the coronavirus outbreak which has brought the entire sporting calendar to a grinding halt.
With both the Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (AFL) seasons suspended, they may now clash with the T20 World Cup when they resume.
Nick Hockley, chief executive of the T20 World Cup organising committee has said in a statement, “We’re wanting to give ourselves the best possible chance of going ahead as planned, so there’s no imminent or quick decision. Hopefully, it’s all resolved and we go ahead.
In the event that it isn’t completely resolved, we are looking at all the different scenarios. Which is only prudent. They are collective discussions involving the organising committee, the ICC, all the members. We will keep everyone updated if anything changes.”
“But for now, we’re just under seven months away … we’ve got a bit of time,” he added.
The postponed AFL and NRL seasons will now almost certainly last long beyond September if they resume.
“We really feel for the winter codes, obviously they’re doing it very tough,” Hockley said.
“In the event, they have extended seasons … we still think the World Cup is a really strong proposition that might not come here again for 10 or 20 years. We’re very encouraged already by the take up in terms of ticket sales,” he added.
Speculations are rife that the T20 World Cup might be cancelled. The BCCI is now looking at the October-November window to host the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which stands suspended till April 15 and chances of it being held in the near future are highly unlikely.
But the move can only be possible if the ICC decides to postpone the World T20 that is to be held later in the year. However, ICC has made it clear though that the T20 World Cup is still on as planned and there have been no talks of postponement.