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T20 World Cup can be pushed to 2021 with IPL taking its slot: McCullum


PTI, Apr 23, 2020, 9:10 AM IST

London: Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum on Wednesday advocated for this year’s T20 World Cup to be postponed to early next year, saying the currently-suspended IPL should take the mega-events slot.

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted all global sporting activities, jeopardizing the T20 World Cup, scheduled in Australia from October 18-November 15, and also “indefinitely” suspending the 13th IPL, which was slated to begin on March 29.

“I think the IPL will try and target that October window and the T20 World Cup will get pushed back,” McCullum, the coach of IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders, told ‘Sky Cricket Podcast’.

There is also the women’s ODI World Cup scheduled in New Zealand in February 2021.

“That may mean the Women’s World Cup gets pushed back but hopefully we get to see all three tournaments operate,” he said.

McCullum said he neither sees the T20 World Cup happening without the stadium fans nor does he believe that teams from 16 nations will be able to travel to Australia in the wake of the pandemic, which has infected more than 20 lakh people globally.

If IPL doesn’t happen, none of the players or support staff get paid. The ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) is set to meet on Thursday to discuss the financial implications of COVID-19 and also the contingency planning for all ICC global events, including the T20 World Cup, over a conference call.

“For Australia to move 16 international teams plus all of their support staff and then broadcasters, seems a bridge too far. I can’t see them playing the T20 World Cup behind closed doors either,” McCullum said.

“There may be a window a bit later in the new year of 2021 which could then open up a window for the IPL (in October and November). You’d have to move some overseas players for the IPL but with the broadcasters based in India, it is a lot easier to pull it all together,” the former skipper said,

“The ICC and world cricket need crowds to operate but India can probably sustain things commercially behind closed doors because they are going to get so many eyeballs,” he said.

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