ICC Has Backup Plans in Place if India Cannot Host T20 World Cup
Even as the second wave of Covid-19 has hit India, the ICC has announced that it would “go ahead with the event as scheduled.” While he expected that the T20 World Cup would be held in India as planned, Geoff Allardice, the interim CEO of the ICC, has informed media outlets that cricket’s governing body had a plan B in place if India found itself unable to host the competition.
India Hit by Second Wave of Covid-19
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit India with the T20 World Cup only about six months away; in April, so far, over 115,000 cases have been reported in the country. Speaking to media outlets last week, Allardice was quoted as saying, “Yes, we have [backup plans]. But at this stage, we haven’t activated those plans, because we are preparing to go ahead with the event in India as scheduled. We’re working with the BCCI and different elements of that event at the moment, but we do have backup plans that can be activated when the time’s right.”
Plenty of Time Left Before Having to Activate Plan B
According to the CEO of the governing body, there was some time to go before the ICC would have to consider activating its plan B. He said that the hosting of the World Test Championship featuring New Zealand and India to be held in Southampton from June 18 to 22 occupied the ICC’s immediate attention. Allardyce said, “We’re not anywhere near that timeline yet.” He added that the ICC had a few months to wait and watch how the situation unfolds and “how cricket events are being run. We’ve obviously got our World Test Championship final which is coming up in a couple of months too. [It’s] one match and two teams, but it’s still got its own challenges. We’re proceeding with both as planned at this stage.”
Vaccinations Could Help Loosen Biosecure Protocols
Multiple Covid-19 vaccines emerged around the world, showing the way forward to loosening some of the biosecure protocols that have featured in many of the high-profile cricket events since the beginning of the pandemic. Allardice said that the ICC had no way of forcing governments to make player vaccinations mandatory, even with such a multi-team event as the T20 World Cup looming.
Allardyce added, “I think our medical committee and our board are recommending that participants should be vaccinated wherever possible, but I think the dynamic in each country is going to be different, both with the supply of vaccine or the availability of vaccine, and where sportspeople or international sportspeople might be in the queue to receive those vaccines. The ICC wouldn’t be able to influence anything like that at a national level, but our overall message has been, we recommend that participants coming to our events in the future are vaccinated wherever possible.”
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