Cricket Australia admits T20 World Cup plans ‘unrealistic’

SYDNEY (AFP) – Staging the Twenty20 (T20) World Cup in Australia this year is “unrealistic” in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic, Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings admitted yesterday.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from October 18 to November 15, and officials have previously said they are planning for it to proceed on those dates.

But with many global borders still shut due to virus-related travel restrictions, Eddings conceded that was looking increasingly unlikely.

“While it hasn’t been formally called off this year, or postponed, trying to get 16 countries into Australia in the current world, where most countries are still going through COVID-19 spiking, I think it’s unrealistic, or it’s going to be very, very difficult,” he told reporters.

Eddings said Cricket Australia had put forward a number of options to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“The ICC are having meetings as we speak, it’s a bit of a movable feast at the moment,” he said.

T20 World Cup Chief Executive Nick Hockley, who yesterday took over as interim Cricket Australia Chief, said he expected the ICC to make a decision about the tournament’s future next month.

“We’ve got a fantastic local organising committee who are busy preparing for every eventuality and the decision that will come,” he said.

Australia has so far enjoyed success containing the virus, allowing it to ease restrictions, including letting crowds of up to 10,000 into sports stadiums from next month.

But strict international border restrictions remain in place and there are also limits on domestic movement between states, creating an added headache for an event where 45 matches are split between seven cities.