Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has said the logistical challenge of keeping 16 teams in a bio-secure bubble to limit the risk of COVID-19 makes staging the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia this year “impossible”.
The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) is exploring contingency plans but has deferred a decision on the tournament until July, said Reuters.
Australia has slowed novel coronavirus infections to a trickle. However, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings termed it “unrealistic” to expect the tournament would happen in October-November.
“The Australian government is “very cautious” about the COVID-19 risk.”
Mani was speaking in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday. He is also an ICC board member.
“If it is played this year they will likely insist it happens in a bio-bubble,” he said.
“This is okay for one or two teams but when 12-16 teams play in a T20 tournament, it becomes an impossible thing. I don’t think it is feasible today that there is any ICC event in 2020.”
Mani expected the tournament would happen in 2021, with the edition scheduled for next year in India in 2022.
He said the ICC events were happening in 2020, 2021, and 2023 and the gap in the middle can be filled.
“That is where the talk is headed towards. What event will happen first and where, those talks are happening.” Meanwhile, the Indian board has said it was premature to talk about the possible rescheduling of the 2021 edition.
All-rounder Mohammed Hafeez will delay his retirement if the Twenty20 World Cup is postponed.
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