T20 World Cup 2020: Will it take place in New Zealand?
Half of the year has passed and cricket fans have not been able to enjoy any cricketing action for the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the disease has postponed many fixtures that were slated for these months, and the upcoming events are also under the threat of getting postponed or canceled. One of the most awaited cricket tournaments of the year, The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is also likely to face the same fate unless a viable solution is discovered.
ICC T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held in Australia in the month of October. However, ICC is worried about hosting the tournament due to the current scenario. COVID-19 has tremendously affected all nations. In this Corona phase, there is a need to maintain social distancing and use safety precautionary measures to prevent the further spread of this virus. Therefore, it is a threat to host large gatherings and events in Australia or any other country affected by it. In such a scenario, the fate of the T20 World Cup is still undecided. But, there are speculations that New Zealand might be chosen as the new host for the tournament. The country has emerged victorious in containing the spread of the virus and they’ve even begun other sports tournaments like Rugby. So, hosting the tournament in New Zealand might serve as a viable option.
ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled in October-November
After the last ICC T20 World cup got over, it was pre-decided that the tournament will next be organized in 2020. Even ICC had released its calendar earlier this year whereby ICC Men’s T20 World Cup fixtures were scheduled from 18th October to 15th November. Australia was selected as the host for the tournament. Until last year, there were clear signs that the tournament will be hosted and Australia was preparing to be a wonderful host. However, the cricket tournament authority of Australia recently reported that organizing this kind of event will be risky. Therefore, the tournament is likely to get canceled or postponed.
Arun Dhamal, the treasurer in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a call on the tournament schedule. According to him, there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding regarding cricket matches. A BCCI functionary revealed that a big event like the T20 World Cup cannot be hosted amidst this pandemic. The Cricket Australia (CA) is also in regular discussions with ICC and exploring other options to host the tournament. One such option could be to host the tournament in a country that has minimum cases. And, New Zealand seems like a good alternative.
Australia cannot host T20 World Cup 2020
The decision to host T20 World Cup for a cricket tournament in Australia has been postponed until next month. The sports minister of Australia, Richard Colbeck is uncertain about the pandemic and says that it will be a serious threat to host tournaments and cricket matches amidst this pandemic. The health situation in several countries is compromised. Hence, the final decision to postpone or reschedule the tournament is kept on hold. Detailed discussions and brainstorming among big authorities like ICC, CA and BCCI are being carried out to come out with exceptional plans and contingency options.
New Zealand might serve as a great host amidst pandemic
New Zealand has impressed the whole world by showing its ability to keep Corona positive cases to a minimum. In fact, there are very few active cases in the country to date. On 8th June, the country lifted all restrictions on public gatherings and the country is even hosting rugby tournaments. So, New Zealand would appear as a great host for ICC T20 World Cup in the month of October.
On asking about the news of hosting ICC T20 World Cup, Grant Robertson the Sports Minister of New Zealand said that it totally depends on the decision of the ICC. Currently, the country is getting ready to host ICC Women’s World Cup in the month of February-March next year.
ICC has to take the final call
The chief executive of ICC, Manu Sawhney says that there should be enough discussions and debate. For this, all the authorities including partners, members, broadcasters, players, and government officials will be considered and their opinion will be heard. The situation has gone beyond control and the global pandemic is spreading rapidly. Therefore, the authorities are taking the time to come with the best possible solution to host the event and promote sports.
In this era of a pandemic, it is advisable to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings and tournaments. We just hope ICC comes up with the most viable solution keeping the interests of fans, cricketers, organizers, team owners, and board members alike.
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