Manu Sawhney, International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executive, has said that the postponement of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 would surely be used as one of the examples before finalizing bio-secure protocols for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in India.
The T20 World Cup is slated to be hosted in India in 2021 in October-November. The venues for the tournament are yet to be finalized although 8 venues- Kolkata, Dharmasala, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mohali, Mumbai, and Chennai have been shortlisted by BCCI.
Manu Sawhney: ICC Must Learn From What Is Happening In The Various T20 Leagues Including The IPL Before Following Protocols For T20 World Cup
PSL was postponed on Thursday after a string of Covid-19 positive cases and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the safety of players is paramount and it would now look to hold the league in a different window this year.
“It is extremely important for everybody to realize 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 Manu Sawhney as saying.
“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,” Manu Sawhney added.
Just like PSL 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking forward to hosting the 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in two phases. After successfully concluding the 14 matches of the tournament, the authorities were forced to postpone PSL 2021 for an indefinite time owing to the constant rise in the number of coronavirus cases among the players and the support staff despite the bio-secure bubble.
Manu Sawhney said it’s a challenge to ensure the smooth running of the T20I World Cup featuring 16 teams due to the rising Covid-19 cases.
Manu Sawhney Acknowledges It’s An Enormous Challenge To Ensure The T20I World Cup With 16 Teams Happens Smoothly Due To Covid-19 Protocols
It is speculated that PSL can resume in May 2021 as that is the only possible free window available for the franchises. This potentially means that PSL can directly clash with the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While the BCCI is yet to announce the schedule of IPL 2021, it is learned that the tournament will run in the month of April and May. In such a scenario, players like Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle, Chris Lynn, Imran Tahir, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nabi who are named in both leagues will have to make a choice between IPL 2021 and PSL 2021.
“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 Manu Sawhney.
The BCCI is also looking to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India this year. The venues are yet to be announced for the 14th edition of the tournament.
Pakistan Super League 2021 has seen the participation of several star players like Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chris Gayle, Faf Du Plessis, Ben Cutting, Joe Denly, David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Alex Hales, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Chris Lynn, and Shahid Afridi among others.
Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Jofra Archer, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Steve Smith, Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Quinton De Kock, Adam Milne, Kieron Pollard, and Hardik Pandya are some of the players participating in Indian Premier League 2021.