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C
cricinfo
May 23, 2020

90% chance of India tour happening: CA chief

Sports

C
cricinfo
May 23, 2020

SYDNEY: Cricket Australia Chief Executive Kevin Rob­erts has given India’s tour a “nine out of 10” chance of happening later this year as the game grapples with how to resume amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also indicated there was a chance Australia could still undertake their limited-overs trip to England which was originally scheduled for July but could happen in September.

The visit of India is vital to Cricket Australia’s financial future with a figure of A$300 million attached to it. There have been some positive noises from the Board of Control for Cricket in India around making the trip that would include four Tests and three One-Day Internationals — with a suggestion more ODIs could be added — even if India are required to quarantine on arrival.

The expectation remains that there will not be crowds at matches during the Australia summer and there could yet be a restricted number of venues used for internationals to aid bio-security measures.

“I guess there’s no such thing as certainty in today’s world so I can’t say 10 (out of 10), but I’m going to say nine out of 10,” Roberts told News Corp. “With the variable being, who would know whether we can have crowds … I’d be really surprised if we can’t get the Indian tour away. But I wouldn’t, hand on heart, suggest we’ll have full crowds from the start. We’ll just have to see how that goes.”

It could yet be that the Australia men’s team resumes action overseas with Roberts not ruling out that the tour of England can proceed. CA is in regular conversations with the England and Wales Cricket Board as they plan for bio-secure series against West Indies and Pakistan in July and August.

“I think there’s some chance we could send a team over,” Roberts said. “Obviously we won’t jeopardise the safety of the players, but the best test of that is that the West Indian and Pakistan tours of England before we’re due to tour. We hope they go off without a hitch.”

The T20 World Cup, which was scheduled at the start of the Australian season in October and November, is unlikely to take place. Further International Cricket Council discussions will happen later this month with the expectation it will be moved to some point in 2021 — perhaps a 12-month delay.

Afghanistan are due to visit Australia for one Test in November but it remains to be seen whether that will stay in the schedule.