The International Cricket Council played down speculation this year’s T20 World Cup could be pushed back to 2021 but admitted it is “exploring all options” with regards to contingency planning.
Australia is due to stage the global tournament from October 18 until November 15 but a number of major sporting events have already been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the start of the T20 World Cup still six months away, the ICC has some time on its side and while it is preparing to press ahead with all its competitions at present, the current uncertainty means that could change.
#OnThisDay in 2016, West Indies became double @T20WorldCup champions! 🏆— ICC (@ICC) April 2, 2020
They first beat 🇦🇺 by eight wickets in the women's final, before the men trumped 🏴 by four wickets in a finale which has been quoted many times since 👇 pic.twitter.com/qDW4WkpwtC
An ICC spokesperson said: “We are continuing with our planning for ICC events as they are, but given the rapidly evolving situation as a prudent and responsible measure we are also undertaking a comprehensive contingency planning exercise.
“This includes exploring all options available to us based on a range of scenarios connected to the pandemic.
“We will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government and will take decisions at the appropriate time.
“We will utilise all the data and information available to us to ensure we can take well-informed, responsible decisions that are in the best interests of our sport.”
We will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government and will take decisions at the appropriate timeICC spokesperson
Cricket Australia’s decision to stand down the majority of its staff from April 27 for two months is understood to have little bearing on the T20 World Cup as the local organising committee is still in post.
The governing body has already indicated its willingness to stage the tournament, even if social distancing measures means it would have to take place behind closed doors, but the ICC warned it will take no chances.
The spokesperson added: “Our first responsibility is to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community and we will take a safety-first approach to all operations over the coming months.”