Australia aims to hold T20 World Cup as scheduled
Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts hopeful things will return to normal by October
Sydney — Cricket Australia (CA) is aiming to hold the men’s Twenty20 World Cup as scheduled despite the coronavirus pandemic, but admits the situation is fluid.
The tournament is due to get under way in October at seven venues across the country with the West Indies defending their title.
Despite the rest of 2020’s Australian cricket season being cancelled this week due to spiralling virus fears, plans for the World Cup remain unchanged.
“We’re really hoping that all forms of sport can be played again in a few weeks’ or a few months’ time,” CA chief Kevin Roberts said late on Tuesday.
“None of us are experts in this situation obviously, so our hope is that we’re back in very much normal circumstances come October and November when the men’s T20 World Cup is to be played.
“And at this stage we’re planning on November 15, to have a full house at the MCG [for the final] to inspire the world through men’s cricket as the women’s cricketers did here just last week,” he added.
Australia swept to their fifth women’s T20 World Cup title on March 8, crushing India by 85 runs in front of more than 86,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Since then, a host of sports in Australia have cancelled or suspended their activities with the government banning outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people and indoor groups of more than 100.
Australia has reported more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the increase in infections accelerating daily. There have been six deaths and airline Qantas on Thursday announced it would halt all international flights later in March.
In addition to the World Cup, Australia is due to host India and Afghanistan for Test series in 2020 with Roberts saying he hoped to announce the 2020-2021 season schedule in April as planned. But he said emergency planning for Covid-19 was the higher priority.
“We’re moving now from management of the onset of coronavirus as a critical incident, to how do we guarantee the continuity of our business and our organisation beyond that,” he said.