ICC defers decision on T20 World Cup and other matters till June 10
The meeting which was held in Dubai was supposed to address the future of the event and other pressing concerns.
The wait to know if the T20 World Cup in Australia will be held on schedule in October-November this year just got longer. The reason: the International Cricket Council (ICC), at its board meeting on Thursday, was concerned that its confidentiality is being breached.
“A number of Board members had raised their concerns over this issue recently and felt it required immediate attention to ensure the sanctity and confidentiality of Board matters in line with the highest standards of governance,” ICC said in a media release on Thursday.
“There was unanimous agreement to immediately initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC’s Ethics Officer and supported by global experts. The Board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020,” the release said.
Till then all matters on Thursday’s agenda, including the status of World Test Championship and discussions on re-scheduling the Future Tours Programme, which has been stalled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been kept on hold.
With most of the world under lockdown and some sport recently resuming behind closed doors, the World T20 in Australia, scheduled from October 18 to November 15, was uncertain going into the meeting. The Indian board is eyeing that window to slot the Indian Premier League. Failing to hold the T20 tournament could set back the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by Rs 4,000 crore.
In a meeting of the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs committee last week, Cricket Australia (CA) has reportedly sought a postponement and said it would want to host the event in 2021 instead.
Some of the less influential boards - outside the big three of India, England and Australia --- who stand to benefit from participation fees from the World Cup don’t mind waiting, and said so at the meeting.
Yet before the board meeting began, CA released a six-month long home schedule of its international season. It included three T20 Internationals against India between October 11-17 possibly as a primer for the World T20.
But “around the issue of confidentiality” the ICC, with Shashank Manohar as chairman, deferred decisions till June 10. A person aware of the developments said the inquiry indicated the testy relation between BCCI, CA and the ICC, because the probe is about news reports in Indian and Australian media.