Dubai: The head of Medical Committee of International Cricket Council (ICC) feels there is still ‘‘significant risk’’ in the way of resumption of international cricket as the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee met via a conference call on Thursday to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sport.
“The situation is rapidly evolving and full of significant risk as there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 which can make decision making difficult. The ICC Medical Committee is working with member medical representatives to build a comprehensive picture of the issues cricket is facing,’’ said Dr Peter Harcourt. Planning for at least two ICC global events, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 are going on as per schedule now.
“Our next step is to create a roadmap for the resumption of international cricket, which will include a criteria for decision-making and a checklist for what needs to happen. This will consider everything from player preparation to government restrictions and advisories and bio-bubbles.”
“The scale and complexity of getting cricket started again cannot be underestimated particularly with respect to a global event. The more teams, venues and cities involved in an event, the greater the risk which has to be assessed and managed,” observed Dr Harcourt.
The CEOs of 12 full members of ICC and three Associate representatives confirmed their full commitment to work in partnership to address the challenges the sport will face in the coming weeks and months.
Briefing the group, Kevin Roberts, Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, hosts of the upcoming World T20 said: “Cricket Australia is working closely with the ICC, the Local Organising Committee and the Australian government so we have a comprehensive understanding of exactly what it will take to be able to play the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in October in Australia as planned.
“We are also jointly exploring all other options in relation to staging the event and will take the right decisions at the right time so we can host a wonderful celebration of the sport and keep everyone involved safe and well.”
There was also agreement that the disrupted Future Tours Programme (FTP) would need to be collectively reviewed through to 2023 with a view to rescheduling as much of the cricket that has been postponed due to the outbreak as possible. The future of both the World Test Championship and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League will be held at a later date when there is a greater understanding of the impact of the cricket that has been lost on the competitions.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “There has never been a more important time for our global cricket community to be unified and there was a clear commitment from colleagues on today’s call to work in the collective best interest of our sport.”