With time running out fast, the International Cricket Council is expected to take a final call on T20 World Cup 2020, scheduled to be held in Australia. The chances of hosting the 16-team tournament as scheduled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic looks bleak and the ICC is set to discuss it in its next board meeting likely to be held next week.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held from September 18 to November 15 in Australia but the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the sporting calendar. Several major events, including the Tokyo Olympics and Wimbledon, have been postponed. It looks unlikely that Australia will be able to host a 16-team tournament, given the Covid-19 situation across the globe.

The ICC, after its board meeting in June, defered a final call on the T20 World Cup to July, saying it wants to take a 'right' decision as it 'gets only one chance to make' it.

Australia also reimposed a 6-week lockdown in Melbourne fearing a second wave of the novel coronavirus in Victoria on July 7. The decision to impose strict lockdown measures in the 2nd largest city in Australia has come as a major blow to the chances of T20 World Cup going ahead as scheduled.

While international cricket has returned with the ongoing 3-Test series between England and West Indies, multi-team tournament Asia Cup was postponed until July 2021 due to the pandemic. Pakistan had the hosting rights for the continental T20 tournament but the Asian Cricket Council said "travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates" have posed substantial challenges to host the tournament as scheduled.

If the T20 World Cup is delayed, the BCCI is keen on hosting IPL 2020 which has been suspended until further notice. The IPL missed its April-May window but with Asia Cup cancelled, the BCCI will be able to host the premier T20 tournament in September-October window.

BCCI president Ganguly made it clear that the board does not want 2020 to end without an IPL. He maintained that India is the first-choice venue to host the IPL but pointed out at the practical difficulties of hosting the tournament in the country, given the rising cases of novel coronavirus.

"It's not easy at the moment to say that we are going to host it in India. First is whether we can (play the IPL) within the time frame because IPL has limited windows," Ganguly said.

"Secondly, will it be in India? If it's not then we think of going out, but where. Because going out becomes very expensive for the board, the franchises because of the currency conversion rates.

"So we are monitoring it and we are very keen to host it. We have our fingers crossed, we don't want the year 2020 to finish without an IPL."

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, speaking to India Today in June, said it was hard to understand why the ICC has been delaying a final call on T20 World Cup when Cricket Australia expressed its inability to host the tournament in 2020.

It remains to be seen if IPL 2020 will be moved out of India for the third time in its 12-year history. While the likes of UAE and Sri Lanka have offered to host the cash-rich tournament, the island nation seems to be a viable option to host the tournament, given the similar time zones, feasible exchange rates and multiple international venues in a single city -- Colombo.
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