This year’s T20 World Cup will need to be moved away from India, according to a former Australian captain.

This year’s T20 World Cup will have to be moved in the wake of India’s growing COVID-19 catastrophe, according to former Australian captain Ian Chappell.

The tournament is scheduled to be played in nine Indian cities in October-November, with Australia one of the 16 countries due to take part.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly considering the Middle East as an alternative venue, as India reports more than 300,000 new cases for a seventh-straight day.

One Australian player, Andrew Tye, has already flown home from the Indian Premier League (IPL), while another two, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, are in the process of trying to return home, a situation that’s been complicated by the government’s decision to suspend all flights from India.

The tournament is continuing in a bio-secure bubble, with the majority of players believed to be satisfied with the arrangements in place to ensure their safety.

When players left Australia at the start of April, India was at the beginning of what we now know as the second wave, with a seven-day average of 62,000 cases a day. But with case numbers now spiralling out of control, and the health system struggling to cope, Chappell believes there’s little chance the country will be able to host the World Cup later this year.

“You wouldn’t think so, with the individuals you can understand why some of them are happy to go to the IPL, but I just can’t imagine that too many of the countries would be happy to go,” he told Wide World of Sports.

“I just can’t see how it would work, particularly if any of the players who are currently at the IPL have difficulty getting home.

“It would be a matter of common sense not prevailing if it went ahead in India.”

While the ICC is in charge of organising the World Cup, the wishes of the all-powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be at the forefront of each country’s thoughts, lest they get the sport’s most influential nation off-side.

“Paul Keating once said to always back self-interest because you know it’s a goer, and you could substitute financial-interest in this case,” Chappell said.

“And that doesn’t apply just to cricket administrators, the money that’s been outlayed can be the only reason why the Olympics is still going ahead.

“But, logic would tell you that the T20 World Cup can’t go ahead in India.”

In a letter to players and staff this week, the IPL’s chief operating officer indicated that bio-security measures would be further strengthened to ensure everyone’s safety, while also stressing the tournament would continue, in an attempt to lift the nation’s mood.

“If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone’s face, then you have done well,” he wrote.

“While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important … humanity.”

Chappell said the decision to continue with the IPL would have been tough.

“There’s two sides to the story, if you keep it going it can be used to boost morale in India, and that’s something that needs boosting at the moment,” he explained.

“But, the other side is there’s much more important things than cricket matches, like saving lives.

“It would be a very delicate decision to make, I’m just glad it’s not me making it.”

“Stopping the IPL now isn’t going to rectify the humanitarian situation.

“The cricket authorities feel that they can keep the players safe, so on that basis, boosting the country’s morale becomes a worthwhile argument.”

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Cricket

By

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.