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Cricket Australia ‘probes hosting T20 World Cup in 2021’

A giant ICC T20 World Cup 2020 shirt is seen that achieved a world record for the most signatures on it during ICC T20 World Cup 2020 morning tea to celebrate one-year-to-go to the women’s final at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 08, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Cricket Australia has asked the International Cricket Council to examine the prospects of the country hosting the T20 World Cup next year, instead of this year, according to a Times of India report.

This year’s tournament, scheduled for October and November, has looked increasingly likely to be postponed due to Covid-19. The ICC was expected to decide its fate at a meeting yesterday, but has delayed the judgement until its next board meeting on June 10.

The Times of India report claimed CA chairman Earl Eddings sent the request to the ICC regarding hosting the tournament in 2021 more than a week ago.

India is currently due to host an edition of the T20 World Cup in October and November 2021. The tournament has historically taken place every two years, although the last time it happened was in 2016 and it was set for consecutive years in 2020 and 2021.

The ICC is currently in a tussle with the Board of Control for Cricket in India about its hosting of next year’s tournament. The ICC has reportedly threatened that the BCCI will losing the hosting rights unless it secures a tax exemption from the government for the tournament. Tax exemptions for ICC events are required in host agreements and the BCCI was supposed to confirm it had secured one by May 18.

Reuters has reported that BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal denied India is at risk of losing the tournament and that negotiations were continuing.

Meanwhile, Kevin Roberts, CA’s chief executive, has announced the summer schedule for Australia, although he acknowledged Covid-19 restrictions could yet force a change to the schedule.

The board is to host India and Afghanistan for Test series, and limited-overs internationals are scheduled against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, West Indies and India. Australia will begin its summer with a three-match one day international series against Zimbabwe starting August 9, followed by T20 series against West Indies and India. It will play an inaugural Test against Afghanistan in Perth. Then the Gabba in Brisbane will host the opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, meanwhile, has confirmed a further delay to the start of its domestic season, with no cricket to be played before August 1 due to Covid-19 restrictions. England is still preparing to host a three-test international series against the West Indies in July.