The last time CA spoke its mind on the subject was at the Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting of the ICC on April 23, where it maintained that they were “working closely” with the parent body, the local organising committee back in Australia and the government there to have a “comprehensive understanding of what exactly it will take” to be able to play the tournament in October as planned.
“We are also jointly exploring all other options in relation to staging the event and will take the right decisions at the right time,” CA chief executive Kevin Roberts had been quoted by the ICC as saying on April 23.
CA is likely to convey a similar sentiment at the meeting on 8th too, thus buying more time before they can say anything on the hosting of the tournament with an air of finality.
“Expect a holding statement. Nothing more, for now. The ICC Board meetings are scheduled soon. There’s a likelihood of a new chairman coming on board. Things may move further only once that happens,” those in the know of developments told TOI.
The six-month lockdown of Australia’s international borders, that was set in place mid-March, will culminate mid-September. The T20 World Cup in Australia is scheduled to be played between October 15 and November 15, thus leaving the machinery in Australia with a month’s time to make things work.
“That’ll be a gargantuan task. And what’s the guarantee that Covid is going to so thoroughly relent by then that crowds will be allowed. So, chances are, playing the tournament to empty stands. For something like that, to fly in 16 teams from across the world, flying in other working hands including match-officials, arranging hospitality, booking domestic travel for the scheduled month – all of it is going to be a logistical nightmare,” add those tracking developments.
Despite the obvious circumstances at play, it is unlikely that CA will say anything of note on Friday except that they’ll be “watching the developments closely” for now. A back-end reason for the same is also getting a final word from the Australian government, which is yet to come.
As of now, three possible scenarios are at play:
(A) CA agrees to host the T20 World Cup, subject to approval of other member boards and the tournament is played at lesser venues, to empty stands
(B) The tournament is postponed for this year with Australia hosting the 2021 edition during the same window and India hosting theirs the following year (2022)
(C) Australia hosting this postponed tournament in 2022
For the record, the ICC has no tournament scheduled in 2022.