There is very good chance to shift T20 World Cup to next year: Graeme Smith – Times of India

CAPE TOWN: Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith believes that ‘there is a very good chance’ of postponing the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of now, the shortest-format World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

Smith on Thursday said that Proteas tour of the West Indies in July, where there were five T20Is scheduled, as well as a three-match home T20 series against India in August both are in doubt, so preparations for the World Cup have obviously been rocked.

“The hope was that we would have 14 T20 games before the World Cup in October and that’s not going to happen anymore. There is a very good chance it’s going to be shifted into the beginning of next year, so we’ll have to consistently assess,” Sport24 quoted Smith as saying.

“There are so many things up in the air, so the key is just to be ready. We are consistently looking at strategies for tours, what the FTP (Future Tours Programme) looks like, what our focus is going to be over the next period of time,” he added.

As the cricket has been suspended for more than two months now to contain the spread of the virus, according to Smith, the challenge for the board ahead is to pick the right squad whenever an opportunity comes.

“We’ll have to assess players on form, as was always going to be the case. When that event comes around, we will look at what the best squad is that we could possibly send to give us an opportunity to win the trophy,” Smith said.

“I think the key at the moment, across the board from players to coaches and operational staff, is to try and make sure that we’re ready for when the opportunity arises to play cricket again and then we’ll have to assess players quickly,” he added.

CSA CEO Jacques Faul, though, feels that a delayed T20 World Cup shouldn’t have much impact financially.

“The T20 World Cups gets sold and the money is essentially distributed to the members,” Faul said.

“I don’t think a delay in the tournament would lead to a cut of that funding. As long as it takes place within the same financial year, then it should be fine. If it doesn’t take place or if it is delayed for a longer period, then it would have an impact,” he added.

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