Cricket Australia has indicated, in response to the ICC, that they want the T20 World Cup to be postponed to next year.
The event is due to start in October and a lot question marks have been raised on CA and the ICC’s account if it will be possible to go ahead as originally planned, given the trouble caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ICC was set to announce a decision on Thursday about whether the event will have to be postponed as a result, but instead that announcement was moved to 10 June due to confidentiality issues within the ICC discussion.
Furthermore, Cricket Australia had written to the ICC after being asked by the cricketing governing body which preferable options they would seek, should it be impossible to hold the event this year.
In a leaked email correspondence between CA and the ICC, Earl Eddings, Chairman of Cricket Australia, said Australia would prefer if the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup be moved to October/November of next year.
Other options include postponing the event to 2022 or staging it at the end of Australia’s summer season of cricket early 2021.
All these options will, however, have conflicting interest as another T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in October 2021, while the Women’s T20 World Cup is set to get under way in New Zealand in February next year.
2022 on the other hand seems too far away with CA adamant not to wait that long in order to host the showpiece event, given the destructive financial blows currently being experienced within the administration.
‘It would be detrimental to cricket if the cancellation of the Australian event is replaced by awarding of the subsequent T20 World Cup in October-November 2022,’ read the letter from Eddings.
‘Australia has thankfully managed to flatten the (COVID) curve, meaning there is greater certainty of being able to play in Australia in 2021 (which is key to maintaining member distribution). This would give India another year to resolve any COVID-related problems.’
These leaked emails were ultimately the reason why Thursday’s ICC teleconference meeting was abandoned.
In a statement released by the ICC on Thursday afternoon, the board, under the leadership of Chairman Shashank Manohar, decided to launch an investigation into the issue, which should be completed before their next meeting.
‘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.
‘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.’