Virus forces postponement of T20 World Cup until 2021


West Indies won the 2016 World Twenty20 in India. AFP/File/Dibyangshu SARKAR

The men’s T20 World Cup due to take place in Australia from October has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Cricket Council announced on Monday.

Officials said they now hoped to stage the tournament from October to November 2021.

There will also be a T20 World Cup in 2022, with the 2023 50-over World Cup in India pushed back until October-November of that year.

“We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport,” said ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney.

“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world.”

COVID-19 has played havoc with the global sporting calendar but international cricket has resumed behind closed doors in England, with the host nation taking on the West Indies in a three-Test series.

Pakistan are also in England preparing for a series of Tests and Twenty20 matches and Australia are making preparations for a potential limited-overs tour of England.

Selectors named a preliminary squad last week but Cricket Australia said “several hurdles” had to be overcome before dates could be locked in.

Australia were originally scheduled to play three one-day and three T20 internationals this month but the trip was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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