ICC de­fers World T20 de­ci­sion till June 10

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPORT - HT Cor­re­spon­dent sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The wait to know if the T20 World Cup in Aus­tralia will be held on sched­ule in Oc­to­ber­Novem­ber this year just got longer. The rea­son: the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC), at its board meet­ing on Thurs­day, was con­cerned that its con­fi­den­tial­ity is be­ing breached. “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,” ICC said in a me­dia re­lease on Thurs­day.

“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 on 10 June 2020,” the re­lease said.

Till then all mat­ters on Thurs­day’s agenda, in­clud­ing the status of World Test Cham­pi­onship and dis­cus­sions on re-sched­ul­ing the Fu­ture Tours Pro­gramme, which has been stalled in the wake of the Covid-19 pan­demic, have been kept on hold.

With most of the world un­der lock­down and some sport re­cently re­sum­ing be­hind closed doors, the World T20 in Aus­tralia, sched­uled from Oc­to­ber 18 to Novem­ber 15, was uncer­tain go­ing into the meet­ing. The In­dian board is eye­ing that win­dow to slot the In­dian Premier League. Fail­ing to hold the T20 tour­na­ment could set back the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) by ~4,000 crore.

In a meet­ing of the ICC’s Fi­nance and Com­mer­cial Af­fairs com­mit­tee last week, Cricket

Aus­tralia (CA) has re­port­edly sought a post­pone­ment and said it would want to host the event in 2021 in­stead. Some of the less in­flu­en­tial boards --- out­side the big three of In­dia, Eng­land and Aus­tralia --- who stand to ben­e­fit from par­tic­i­pa­tion fees from the World Cup don’t mind wait­ing, and said so at the meet­ing.

Yet be­fore the board meet­ing be­gan, CA re­leased a six-month long home sched­ule of its in­ter­na­tional sea­son. It in­cluded three T20 In­ter­na­tion­als against In­dia between Oc­to­ber 11-17.

But “around the is­sue of con­fi­den­tial­ity” the ICC, with Shashank Manohar as chair­man, de­ferred de­ci­sions till June 10. A per­son aware of the developmen­ts said the in­quiry in­di­cated the testy re­la­tion between BCCI, CA and the ICC, be­cause the probe is about news re­ports in In­dian and Aus­tralian me­dia.

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