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ICC and cricket boards wrestling with Covid calendar challenges

The International Cricket Council pushed back until next month a decision on whether this year’s T20 World Cup will go ahead as scheduled in Australia in October and November.

After a board meeting, the organisation said it would “continue exploring contingency plans” for the tournament, as well as the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well informed decision.”

In its press release the board also gave the Board of Control for Cricket in India another six months, until December, to obtain tax exemptions from the Indian government for next year’s T20 World Cup.

After several rounds of postponement, Sri Lanka Cricket has once more extended its deadline for its media-rights tender.

The SLC board recently announced June 15 as the date it would select its broadcast partner.

That deadline has been adjusted and extended to June 30 as news emerged of a potential tour deal with India and the postponement of the Bangladesh teams tour of Sri Lanka, news website InsideSport reports.

Sri Lankan publication The Island says the Indian cricket team is willing to tour Sri Lanka in August. The report says the BCCI had confirmed to their Sri Lankan counterparts that the postponed series can proceed provided the Indian government gives clearance.

India were scheduled to play three ODIs and three T-20 Internationals in Sri Lanka this month and SLC were depending heavily on the series to boost up their revenues through media rights.

According to InsideSport, sources in the Bangladesh Cricket Board said Bangladesh players collectively declined to tour Sri Lanka in July. The sources said the BCB and SLC are currently working on new dates for the tour but it will not be before August.

SLC has now also decided to sell media rights as one package merging television, radio and digital platforms as opposed to their previous attempt to sell it as two packages – one for television and radio and another for digital platforms.

The ECB meanwhile is reported to be in talks with India and South Africa for a Women’s Women’s Tri-series.

Indian women’s team were supposed to play a bilateral series comprising three ODIs and three T20Is against England which remains postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ultimately, we will get some international cricket, all being well. The plan is to get some international cricket for the England team later this summer. We’re talking to the BCCI and Cricket South Africa about bringing their women’s teams over to play a tri-series,” ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison said during the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast.