Cricket Australia and the ICC will hold a teleconference on Friday to discuss the men’s T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to begin in the country in October. However, no firm decision is expected to be taken, with both parties unable to commit to anything at this stage because of the global health situation. Instead they will put it off to a later date.
However, from the outside, the chances of the event proceeding as planned already look slim.
In the first place, Australia has shut down its international borders, and that is due to be lifted only by mid-September at the earliest, providing that the coronavirus outbreak has receded. Then there is a question mark over teams from overseas. Will they be allowed to travel by their own governments halfway around the world, or will only certain countries be able to take part?
Even if those two pre-conditions are met, there is still an enormous logistical challenge involved in organising a tournament of that size in a month, Flights would need to be booked for 16 teams and match officials, hotels booked, travel between venues arranged, and hospitality deals put in place. And then there is the vexed issue of whether fans would be allowed in stadiums, or whether all games would have to take place behind closed doors.
And all this is taking place at the same time as organisers of the Australian Open, scheduled for the second part in January next year in Melbourne, are already warning that the tournament might have to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and, that even if it does place, it will be a radically different event than normal with only Australian fans and a limited number of participants.
Given that the Australian Open does not take place until three weeks after the scheduled start of the World Cup on October 18th, it is difficult to envisage a scenario where cricket can expect their showpiece event to proceed as planned.