Were you aware the last time international cricket came to a standstill? As the COVID-19 pandemic may last several more months, the sports administrators are on an edge. Even more so as the showpiece event of the year, the summer Olympics in Tokyo is likely to be postponed. Cricket is a game that is played throughout the year, has come to a standstill, too. This for the first time ever since World War II.
Which all leagues or major international Cricket tournaments are set to suffer due to the Pandemic?
1) Indian Premier League
The most popular T20 league in the world the IPL is set to suffer. Originally meant to start on March the 29th, it was pushed back by the BCCI to April 15th after the Indian government put a ban on social gatherings along with additions as some restrictions on entry to the country. This has now been furthered pushed ahead to an undisclosed date as of now. The most famous competitive cricket league in the world commenced in 2008, has grown on to become the most lucrative cricketing event. Such has been its stature that now it even has a separate window to allow the best cricketers from around the world to participate in it. The BCCI has now been able to draw an understanding with an internal discussion of stretching the schedule to as far as the first week of June. However the final was originally slotted for May the 24th poised to hold a complete event subject to a nod from the government of India.
2) World Test Championship
The World Test Championship started immediately after the 2019 men’s 50-over World Cup. A major international fixture set to be contested between the top nine Test-playing nations. The WTC was devised by the ICC as a marquee event culminating in a final between the top two teams on the table in June 2021 at the Mecca of cricket at Lord’s. A maximum of 120 points per series is at stake with each team playing six series, three at home and three away in this period. Although on the flip side, some teams have played a fair share of their six series, some of the others are yet to get started in earnest. Many competitive series was scheduled for the rest of this year.
3) One Day Internationals League
Just like the WTC, the ICC had also approved the ODI League, to commence from May 1 this year and leading up till the March the 31st, 2022. This is set to serve for a qualification pathway for the 2023 men’s World Cup, to be played in India. The format will be featuring a total of 13 teams, including the 12 Test playing nations along with the Netherlands, who would contest in eight series over a two-year cycle on a home-and-away basis against mutually agreed on opponents.
4) The Hundred
The England Cricket Board is positive about its new format. The board is hoping it reaches an audience beyond the usual cricket international fanbase. These by the way of affordable tickets for families and the return of live-in cricket to free-to-air TV. A cut down from 120 balls in a T20 innings to just 100, sounds like a perfect fit neatly inside a three-hour prime time TV slot. This with add on like featuring of some of the world’s biggest stars.
5) Asia Cup
This 6-team fixture is scheduled for September. It will be contested by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This is scheduled for September. This will be played in the T20 format with the Pakistan Cricket Board playing the host. In the coming days by the end of this month, the Asian Cricket Council or ACC is likely to finalize the venue for the Asia Cup.
6) Men’s T20 World Cup
Moving on the footing of the successful organization of the women’s event, Australia is set to play hosts to the men’s T20 World Cup later this year too. In November 2019, six teams namely Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Namibia, Scotland, and Oman made it through for the tournament after finishing in the top six of the qualifiers. Adding to these six, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will contest in the qualifying stage of the T20 World Cup. The top four teams from this contest will then progress on to join the top-eight teams in the marquee event to contest in the Super12s stage. This event will have the teams split into two different groups.
7) ICC Women’s ODI Championship
This championship is the pathway through which the four teams at the summit on the points table automatically qualify for the 2021 edition of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup. This will be played from February the 6th to March the 7th in New Zealand. Along with the hosts, the remaining 3 slots will be filled after a qualifier. The same is scheduled for July in Sri Lanka.
Thus, this COVID-19 crisis poses a serious threat to the international cricket council’s many plans. Both entertainment-wise and in terms of monetary gains.