Decision on T20 WC deferred

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has deferred all major decisions, including the fate of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, at least till June 10, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ICC Board met via teleconference today with all agenda items deferred until June 10, 2020, following a discussion, led by Chairman Shashank Manohar, around the issue of confidentiality,” read a statement from the ICC on Thursday.

“…The Board also requested the ICC management to continue its discussions with stakeholders in exploring various contingency options in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus.”

No mention

The statement made no outright mention of the marquee event, scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15, but the fact that it stressed on continuing discussions indicated that the T20 World Cup was far from being postponed or called off.

Cricket Australia has also stuck to the original FTP schedule while announcing the itinerary for its home summer.

Two parts

India’s tour of Australia has been divided into two parts: T20I series pre-T20 World Cup, and Test and ODI series to be played after the global event.

Besides the T20 World Cup, the meeting was supposed to finalise the election process for appointing Manohar’s successor as ICC chairman, and deal with the issue of BCCI’s inability to secure tax exemption from the government for next year’s T20 World Cup.

‘Leaked’ communication

The Hindu understands that much of the discussion during Thursday’s meeting revolved around how some of the internal communication between the ICC and its member boards was getting ‘leaked’ to the media.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, based on a media report, is understood to have objected to the BCCI being kept in the dark over a communication between Cricket Australia and a few other member boards over the likely postponement of the T20 World Cup.

Over the last week, there have been media reports about the ICC Ethics Officer dismissing Manohar’s complaint of unethical practices against former England and Wales Cricket Board chief Colin Graves (an aspirant for the ICC chief’s post) while granting loan to Cricket West Indies, and the standoff between BCCI and ICC over tax exemptions for ICC events.

Needs attention

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”

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