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Coronavirus pandemic: ICC to discuss contingency plans & WTC points allocation for postponed games

"Right now, the situation is such that no decision can be taken as no one knows when normalcy returns. Obviously the members will give a lowdown of the situation in their respective countries." - an official of a member nation told PTI.

March 26, 2020 / 06:05 PM IST

The members of the ICC Board will meet via video conference on March 27 to discuss contingency plans for its multiple tournaments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought global sporting activities to a grinding halt.

While a couple of ICC Board members confirmed to PTI that no concrete decisions are expected during the conference call, it became imperative that a meeting was necessary to discuss contingency plans.

The most high-profile ICC flagship event in 2020 is the Men's T20 World Cup in October-November besides the various bilateral series which are part of the World Test Championship. The points system in case of cancelled series will be a topic of discussion.

One such series, England's away tour of Sri Lanka, has already been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak which has globally claimed more than 20,000 lives.

"Right now, the situation is such that no decision can be taken as no one knows when normalcy returns. Obviously the members will give a lowdown of the situation in their respective countries."

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"But we need to be ready with plans if this lockdown continues for two more months. The complete FTP will be topsy turvy" an official of a member nation told PTI.

He said that points allocation of Test Championship games that will be postponed will be another issue.

"The England versus Sri Lanka series got postponed but where will it be slotted considering the FTP calendar is choc-a-bloc. It's not one series that will be affected but a few more which are lined up" he said.

There is England hosting West Indies and Pakistan in June and July while New Zealand travel to Bangladesh in August. India next play Test matches in November against Australia in an away series.

"So like what could be the ideal points distribution system. Whether giving 60 points each to both teams will be fair deal is something that members need to discuss" he added.

As of now, there is no imminent threat to the World T20 in Australia but if lock-down continues for two to three months then it might be become Australian government's prerogative to decide on travel restrictions and how they perceive the situation in their country at that point in time.

The indefinite stoppage of action could also have an effect on ICC as well as the member nations' revenue stream, something which can't be exactly gauged at the moment.

"That is an extreme situation which we are not even thinking at the moment. But it is a crisis situation and no harm if options are discussed," another board member said.

From BCCI, in all likelihood, president Sourav Ganguly will be the board representative. In case, Ganguly is unable to attend, then it will be secretary Jay Shah.
PTI
first published: Mar 26, 2020 05:56 pm

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