Cricket

T20 World Cup could be pushed to 2021 with IPL taking its slot, says Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum

  • Press Trust of India
  • April 22nd, 2020
  • 21:40:32 IST

Former New Zealand skipper and IPL franchise coach Brendon McCullum on Wednesday advocated for this year's men's T20 World Cup could be postponed to early next year with a rescheduled cash-rich league taking its slot.

As far as 2021 women's ODI world Cup pushed further back.

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Brendon McCullum plays a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Pune Warriors India and Kolkata Knight Riders at The Sahara Stadium in Pune on May 19, 2012. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. MOBILE USE WITHIN NEWS PACKAGE. AFP PHOTO/Punit PARANJPE (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP)

Brendon McCullum represented Kolkata Knight Riders in five IPL seasons. AFP

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted all global sporting activities, jeopardising the 2020 T20 World Cup, scheduled in Australia from 18 October - 15 November and also "indefinitely" suspending the 13th IPL, which was slated to begin in March.

Besides, there is also the women's ODI World Cup scheduled in New Zealand in February, 2021.

McCullum said he neither sees the T20 World Cup happening without crowd nor does he believe that teams from 16 nations will be able to travel to Australia in the wake of the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 2.5 million people globally.

"I think the IPL will try and target that October window and the T20 World Cup will get pushed back," McCullum told Sky Cricket Podcast. It must be mentioned that McCullum is the coach of IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders.

If IPL doesn't happen, none of the players or support staff get paid.

"That may mean the Women's World Cup gets pushed back but hopefully we get to see all three tournaments operate."

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 ICC Men's 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 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."

Former New Zealand seamer Simon Doull, who joined McCullum and Ian Smith on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, also believes spectators will be important to get the revenues flowing from the T20 World Cup.

"A lot of the ICC's revenue for down the track comes from the World Cups so they want as many people in the stands as possible," he said.

"They would hate to see a T20 World Cup under lockdown where no one could go and watch and the atmosphere would probably be a little bit less."

Doull also said ICC need to decide how important is the T20 World Cup.

"How important is the T20 World Cup? That the first question from an ICC point of view," he said.

"Is it important enough to have private jets out of each county with cricket teams on them, two weeks in quarantine in Australia and then the tournament taking place, whether there are fans in the stands or not? Is it that important?".

Updated Date: April 22, 2020 21:40:32 IST

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