Disappointment for Scotland as T20 World Cup postponed

ICC confirms that tournament planned for Australia in October has been postponed for a year due to pandemic

Monday, 20th July 2020, 4:29 pm
Scotland's Michael Leask in T20 action against Pakistan in June 2018 Photograph: SNS

Scotland’s cricketers will have to wait a year to take part in the men’s Twenty20 World Cup due to be held in Australia in October was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April the International Cricket Council said that the tournament was still planned to go ahead as scheduled. However, the following month a senior ICC official said that it would be "too big a risk" to host the tournament in 2020. The ICC also stated that reports of postponing the tournament were inaccurate, with multiple contingency plans being looked at but it has now been decided to postpone, with potential alternative hosts to be decided in due course.

Scotland were due to play Netherlands, Namibia and Bangladesh in the preliminary stage of the tournament which was scheduled for 18 October to 15 November.

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A statement on icc-cricket.com read: "The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC men's T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

The statement added that windows for the next three ICC men's events - the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups, and the 2023 World Cup - had been agreed, with the latter moved to October to November 2023 to allow for a longer qualification period.

And it said the IBC Board (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC) will continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the Women's World Cup in New Zealand in February next year, with planning for that event continuing as scheduled in the meantime.

October-to-November windows were agreed for each of the men's T20 World Cups over the next two years as well as the 2023 World Cup in India, with the dates for the finals given as 14 November next year, 13 November, 2022 and 26 November, 2023 respectively.

The statement said that the windows were agreed to "bring clarity to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by Covid-19."

It added: "The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "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.

"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.

"Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the men's Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.

"Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket."