The International Cricket Council has told Reuters it is continuing preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia this year as planned and denied reports yesterday that a decision had been taken to postpone the event.
Media reports in India said ICC members had come to an understanding that this year’s event would be pushed back to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ICC board is to meet today to discuss several issues related to the pandemic and its members will also address the fate of the World Cup, which is due to be played at stadiums around Australia from October 18 to November 15.
“The ICC has not taken a decision to postpone the T20 World Cup and preparations are ongoing for the event in Australia this year as per plan,” a spokesman for the governing body told
Reuters. “This is on the agenda for the ICC Board meeting tomorrow and a decision will be taken in due course.”
Australia has been among the most successful nations in containing the spread of the new coronavirus but travel restrictions remain in place with several state and territory borders still closed.
A Cricket Australia spokeswoman told Reuters she was unaware of any decision being taken to postpone the World Cup.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI), which is set to host the following edition of the tournament in 2021, is keeping a close eye on developments as a postponement could open up a window for this year’s Indian Premier League.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that the Indian board has full faith in the directors of the international body and believe that they will not commit harakiri by taking the global event away from India.
“It is not the ICC, but some vested interests that come up with this story from time to time. Most of the ICC Directors are prudent and pragmatic and they would not permit these vested interests to lead the ICC down the path of harakiri. If they take this step, I assure you that the BCCI would still be laughing when the pieces fall, but the ICC would be worse for the wear,” the official said.
“It is time for the ICC to move away from people who merely bring disputes with BCCI to the table and nothing else in terms of contribution. Anyone propped by such people will also be unacceptable.”
Earlier, a BCCI official in the know of developments said that it is sad that at a time when the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, such e-mails have come in and there is an attempt to put the Indian board under pressure.
“I fail to understand how this is happening at this time when everyone is coming to grips with the pandemic. This is a complete and total failure of the ICC leadership and is a clear indication that change is imminent,” the official said. The BCCI was needed to throw light on the tax exemption issue 18 months before the 2021 T20 World Cup which meant the deadline was April.
But the world has been under lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak and the Indian board has asked for an extension till June 30 or one month post lockdown opening.
Another official said the whole turn of events was surprising to say the least, especially how the ICC said that the IBC refused to agree to an extension.
“Interestingly, their lawyer Jonathan Hall has written that the IBC has rejected BCCI’s request. Now the question is how did this happen without the actual board seeing it and voting for/against it?” he enquired.
Manohar to step down as ICC chairman after current term
International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar is to step down when his term ends this year, the governing body said yesterday.
The ICC is set to discuss the process to elect its new chief at its board meeting today with media reports saying that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Colin Graves is favourite to fill the post.
“No final decision was taken regarding the election process and the subject will be discussed further at the next ICC Board meeting on Thursday,” the ICC said in a statement.
“The existing Chair confirmed he was not seeking any extension to his term but would support the board to ensure a smooth transition.”
The ICC president used to head the board of directors but the position largely became honorary after constitutional changes in 2014 saw the creation of the chairman’s post.
But Manohar initiated further reforms in 2016 and became the first independent chairman of the governing body with no formal links to any other country’s board. The position of the ICC president was also abolished then.
Prominent Indian lawyer Manohar was unanimously elected on a two-year term but resigned for personal reasons in March, 2017, only to defer his resignation a week later. He was re-elected unopposed for a second two-year term in 2018.
The new chairman is set to formally take over when the ICC’s annual general meeting is held at the end of July.
The name of Sourav Ganguly, the president of the powerful Indian cricket board (BCCI), has also made the rounds with Cricket South Africa director Graeme Smith backing the former India captain to take over the reins of the ICC.
BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters that the board had not discussed the matter yet but is open to Ganguly succeeding Manohar, provided there is consensus on it.
“BCCI has not taken any call on fielding anyone from India for the job,” Dhumal said. “The election process has not started yet. Once election date is announced, we’ll discuss with all cricket boards and take a call.
“Ideally there should be a consensus candidate so that there is no election as world cricket is facing a big problem because of the pandemic. To resolve it, everyone has to come together.”
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