ICC forced to delay T20 WC discussions

May 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: As the Cricket Australia has requested International Cricket Council to postpone World Cup T20 for better times in 2021, the game’s governing body has expressed its distress on...

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ISLAMABAD: As the Cricket Australia (CA) has requested International Cricket Council (ICC) to postpone World Cup T20 for better times in 2021, the game’s governing body has expressed its distress on the Indian lobby within the game’s governing body for the leakage of details to their media ahead of the May 28 meeting.

In a bizarre chain of events, the CA chief Earl Eddings letter to the ICC financial committee was leaked to Indian media, forcing the ICC to delay discussion on possible postponement of the event for next year.

The News has already reported in its earlier issue on the possibility of the World Cup postponement for 2021 mainly due to the opposition of majority of countries against holding the event in October 2020 in Australia. During the last month ICC meeting around eight of the 12 countries representatives voiced against going ahead with planned T20 World Cup in October due to serious threats of Covid-19. These countries representatives were of the opinion that managing 16 countries teams and around 500 players, officials and support staff would pose a tough and serious challenge for the hosts. These countries representatives who attended the ICC meeting last month feared that any raw approach could risk players well-being and hence possibility of leaving damaging effects on the future of the game.

The ICC Board meeting on Thursday (May 28) never discussed the postponement in broader sense rather members expressed their serious concerns over leakage of important documents to India media a day ahead of the meeting. Though the final decision on the World Cup was deferred till June 10, the leakage of the letter (email) forced majority of member countries nominees to believe presence of strong Indian lobby within the ICC and feared that free and fair discussion on sensitive subjects has become a risky affair.

“A number of board members had raised their concerns over this issue and felt it required immediate attention to ensure the sanctity and confidentiality of Board matters in line with the highest standards of governance," the ICC said in a statement.

"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."

An Indian newspaper had reported a day ahead of the ICC meeting that CA chairman is more interested in delaying the event for a year. The Times quoted CA chairman email written to the Financial Committee.

The email from the CA chairman was in response on ICC inquiry as which dates will be most suited to the Australia for hosting the World Cup in 2021.

It is worth mentioning here that chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani heads the ICC Financial Committee while members include Indra Nooyi (independent director), Amitabh Choudhury (BCCI acting secretary), Chris Nenzani (CSA president), Imran Khawaja (ICC vice-chairman), Earl Eddings (CA chairman) and Colin Graves (ECB chairman). ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney are ex-officio members.

The reports that ICC Financial Committee had leaked the secret email to Indian media may also have put PCB chairman in awkward position who would definitely be among those looking for thorough probe into the issue.

Meanwhile, the postponement of the World Cup T20 would leave a window of hope for the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) to go ahead with their plan. The organisers of over $500 venture have already talking about holding the 2020 leg in October-November.

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