International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive, Manu Sawhney has revealed that they will be closely following the IPL as it will be a key factor to stage the T20 World Cup later this year in India. He added that it will be an enormous challenge to stage a World Cup in COVID times.
The T20 World Cup couldn't take place last year in Australia due to the global pandemic. But this year, it will be taking place amid COVID-19 in India in October-November. It has been a while since international cricket has resumed after a tumultuous time last year when most of the countries in the world were forced into a lockdown.
The 2020 IPL was successfully hosted by the BCCI in the UAE and given the vast nature of the tournament, it was some achievement. This year, the cash-rich league is most likely going to take place in India. ICC's chief executive, Manu Sawhney asserted that there will be a lot of risk with the global tournament as players from different countries would participate in the tourney. However, he admitted that the IPL will be a key factor in learning the protocols and hosting the T20 World Cup, later this year.
"It is extremely important for everybody to realise that in the case of risk mitigation, it is not a linear curve. For example, given a series which is a bilateral series, let's say between two teams, versus let's say a World Cup, which has 16 teams coming from 16 different countries into one country, the risks associated with that are exponentially larger and way different. And those are the complexities that all of us are right now are going through and understanding each day better than the day before as to what needs to be done," ESPNcricinfo quoted Sawhney as saying, reported Times Now.
"So, for us right now, learning from what is happening in the various T20 leagues, learning from what India is doing currently - and BCCI has done a great job - and post this the IPL will be a very key factor in terms of learnings before we look at what are the protocols we'll have to follow for the T20 [World Cup] later in the year," he added.
Given the risk factors involved Sawhney warned that there is also a high probability that things may not go as planned.
"But getting 16 teams from different countries with their quarantine protocols, with their risk factors....getting them into the country, then making sure the tournament happens and making sure that the players can then get back to their respective countries is an enormous challenge and a challenge where everybody needs to come together and everybody needs to realise that there is a high probability that things may not go as per plan. And to have the faith that everybody is trying to do his best to make things happen given the uncertainty which still exists," said Sawhney.