The ICC will do a video conference to discuss contingency plans as cricket gets stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic has officially decimated the sporting calendars with the postponment of marquee events like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Euro 2020 football tournament. Cricket has also been wrecked with India vs South Africa, England vs Sri Lanka and the series between New Zealand and Australia also suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fate of Indian Premier League 2020 is also under a cloud due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the postponment of Euro 2020 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the International Cricket Council has decided to take a contingency plan by having a video conference with all the major boards on Friday.
With the coronavirus pandemic now threatening to disrupt all cricket until June, the ICC member nations will be forced to contemplate options about the bilateral series which has points associated with World Test Championship while there will be a major decision on the ICC World T20 which will be played in Australia in October-November. The series that might be affected in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is England vs Sri Lanka as well as the England vs West Indies series that will be played in June. England has suspended all professional cricket until May 28 and there are doubts whether England can play cricket in their home summer.
"It's more about an update on contingency planning at this stage. In case of an extreme situation, there should be plan B and C ready. So we board members need to understand the options available. Obviously, the situation currently is very serious and COVID-19 and its implications is on agenda. But if you think logically, World T20 is in October and final of World Test Championship is in June, 2021. So we have time and no point in taking any decision in haste. No decisions expected on Friday. It's more of a stock taking," a veteran ICC administrator told about the significance of the meeting on Friday.
The high-profile ICC T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia from mid-October along with the bilateral Test series as a part of World Test Championship schedule could be in for a rejig in case the lockdown continues for another two months. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to move to a work-from-home policy for the majority of its staff. The ICC’s top officials, including chairman Shashank Manohar and chief executive Manu Sawhney, are preparing for a video conference to address the cricket calendar being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the world body did not specify till when it plans to carry on with this arrangement.
The ICC have also asked their employees to work from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Most of the events, including the IPL and international tours, have been either postponed or cancelled owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The crisis has severely affected the upcoming English season as well. "Like the rest of the world, the ICC is following guidelines from authorities and in line with the approach of our members, the majority of our staff are now working from home," an ICC spokesperson told PTI.
"Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of staff whilst remaining fully operational. The team has full remote working capacity and as a result we can keep the ICC fully functioning while keeping our staff, their families and the wider communities safe."