ICC interim CEO Geoff Allardice said on Wednesday that the organisation has contingency arrangements in place for the T20 World Cup later this year in India, but that it is not considering taking it out of the country amid an increase in COVID-19 events. The tournament will take place in October and November in India, which has been registering over one lakh daily cases in recent days. The IPL is set to begin behind closed doors on Friday in Chennai, despite the COVID outbreak. During a virtual media round-table, Allardice said, “We are definitely continuing with the case as expected.”
“We have a Plan B, but we haven’t introduced it yet. We’re consulting with the BCCI, and we have contingency plans ready to go if the need arises “Added he.
After Manu Sawhney was placed on “leave” following an internal inquiry by UK-based accounting company PricewaterhouseCoopers, Allardice, the ICC’s general manager for cricket, was recently appointed interim CEO.
The 53-year-old Australian, who has played domestic cricket in his homeland, added that the ICC is in communication with other sports organisations to learn how they are coping with the COVID era.
“Cricket is currently being played in a number of countries, and we are gaining knowledge from each of them.
“We’ve been talking to other sporting teams about what they’re doing, and while we’re in good shape right now, we understand that the landscape is evolving at a fast pace.
“We still have the World Test Championship final coming up in two months,” he said, “so we’re going ahead with both as expected.”
Should the situation necessitate a move, the UAE, which hosted the IPL last year, may be one of the replacement venues for the shortest format’s biggest international gathering. During the conversation, he was also asked about the Decision Review System (DRS), which includes the controversial Umpire’s Call, which India captain Virat Kohli described as “confusing” during the limited-overs series against England. During the latest ICC Board Meeting, Allardice said there was “a strong debate” on DRS.
“DRS was created to correct obvious mistakes. There haven’t been any major improvements.
“I believe the normal reaction when you see a replay is what do we do… Overruling an obvious mistake… We’ve arrived at a stage where we can use technologies to make right choices, but perfection is no longer feasible.
“We’re really happy with where we’re at right now,” he said.
Allardice recognised the difficulty countries face in maintaining contact with their respective governments in order to host cricket matches and tournaments.
“The position of vaccination in different countries can alter the dynamics… They’ve done an excellent job hosting matches over the past ten months.”
He also acknowledged that COVID-19 has had an impact on the women’s game. “The buzz we created around international cricket over the last 3-4 years is great,” he said when asked if the pandemic has set back women’s cricket just as it was gaining momentum after the booming success of the last T20 World Cup in Australia. The final (between India and Australia) was a memorable occasion (held in front of a sold-out MCG).
“Then COVID struck, finding it exceedingly difficult to reestablish it.” In the coming year, we’ll be working on that.”