Finch prepared for Cup delay ahead of ICC meeting
Cricket administrators will meet on Thursday to start work on a new-look international schedule, with the T20 World Cup in focus
23 April 2020, 07:39 AM AEST
Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar says his nation could host the T20 World Cup in October if Australia isn't able to, while Aussie skipper Aaron Finch is preparing for the tournament to be postponed.
The top administrators of all major cricket nations will convene this evening to discuss how world cricket can negotiate a new schedule after original plans were thrown into chaos due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A major topic of focus will be the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in Australia in October and November, which provides a crucial cash injection into the global game.
But given Australia has put an indefinite ban all non-residents entering the country as part of its plan to tackle the virus, the prospect of all the world's leading men's cricketers arriving down under in less than six months is in serious doubt.
Finch is preparing himself for the tournament to at least be delayed, and said "creative" solutions will be needed in a rejigged international schedule, including playing in front of empty stadiums.
"I think we might have to get our heads around a T20 World Cup that might be postponed for a month, two months, three months, whatever it has to be," Finch told SEN Radio.
"But as long as we can get live sport up and running. Whether that's with crowds or not, I don't think that makes any difference to the players. We played one ODI against New Zealand with no crowd (and it) was really strange for first four or five overs, but then you got into your work.
"I think we might have to get a little bit creative with how we do that (as part of a new-look schedule). Whether that's setting up and playing two Test matches in one hub or something like that."
Meanwhile, Gavaskar said India - which is due to host the 2021 World Cup - could host the tournament this year instead as part of a swap with Australia.
"As we all know, Australia has barred foreigners from entering the country … the tournament starts mid-October so it is looking difficult at the moment," Gavaskar told India Today.
"Next year's T20 World Cup is in India. If India and Australia come to an agreement and in case the (COVID-19) curve in India flattens out, they can swap.
"It can be held in India this October-November and in Australia October-November next year."
Gavaskar added that the Indian Premier League T20 tournament, indefinitely postponed from its March 29 start, could be held just before the World Cup.
"If it (the swap) is going to happen that way then what can be done is that IPL is held just prior to T20 World Cup so there is enough practice for the players," he said.
Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts says Australia is committed to hosting the World Cup this year as planned, but added officials would take government advice before making a call.
"It's essentially on unless it's not on," Roberts said. "But we don't intend to put anyone's health at risk.
"What we're very conscious of is our responsibility on behalf of international cricket to do everything possible to stage the event. The bigger returns from the broadcast rights generated by the ICC are very important to our counterparts around the cricket world.
"So it's incumbent on us to do everything possible to stage and host the T20 World Cup."
The T20 World Cup, previously a quadrennial tournament, is being played in back-to-back years due to the cancellation of the Champions Trophy.
- with AFP