Pakistan legend Wasim Akram said that the ICC T20 World Cup should not happen behind closed doors without spectators and urged the stakeholders to wait for a “suitable time” to host the tournament after the COVID-19 situation gets better.
Amid speculations that the competition was all set to be postponed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) deferred all their decision on the fate of the T20 World Cup till June 10 in a meeting in the last week of May.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I mean, how could you have a cricket World Cup without spectators,” Akram told The News on Thursday.
“A World Cup is all about big crowds, spectators coming from all parts of the globe to support their teams. It’s all about atmosphere and you cannot get it behind closed doors.”
“So I believe that they (ICC) should wait for a more suitable time and once this pandemic subsides and restrictions are eased then we can have a proper World Cup,” he added.
The ICC T20 World Cup in Australia this year, scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 15, is facing a serious threat due to the COVID-19 crisis and also because the Australian government has banned the entry of all kinds of foreigners till at least September 30.
The ICC in its release said: “A number of board members had raised their concerns over this issue recently and felt it required immediate attention to ensure the sanctity and confidentiality of board matters in line with the highest standards of governance.
“There was unanimous agreement to immediately initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC’s Ethics Officer and supported by global experts. The board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020.
“The Board also requested the ICC management continue with their discussions with stakeholders in exploring various contingency options in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the COVID 19 virus.”
Meanwhile, various media reports have surfaced stating that the T20 World Cup in Australia will be postponed to 2022 as India is scheduled to host another edition of the tournament in 2021.