In doing so, Eddings and CA have reiterated that they will not be in a position to host the 2020 edition of the tournament, scheduled from October 18 to November 15. In fact, Eddings’ letter specifically requests that Australia should be allowed to host the 2021 edition and not 2022, given the multiple commercials at stake.
The email, sent by Eddings (TOI is in possession of that letter), has been marked to members of the F&CA only. The CA chairman too is a member of the body while the BCCI is not part of this committee. The F&CA is headed by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani, who was elevated to the chair after former BCCI president Shashank Manohar took control of the governing body. TOI understands that CA sent that letter more than a week ago.
Interestingly, despite the F&CA being in possession of Eddings’ letter – the committee also has outgoing chairman Manohar and CEO Manu Sawhney as ex-officio members – the ICC sent out an official statement on Wednesday evening stating that “reports of a postponement of ICC’s Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 are inaccurate and planning for the event continues … in the light of the rapidly changing public health situation”.
Member boards say they’re intrigued about ICC’s statement given that CA has made its stand very clear – that they are not looking forward to hosting the 2020 event.
“Why would the ICC not admit that they have a letter from the CA chairman? These are things that give the administration a bad name. They’ve (ICC) also said ‘the existing chair (Manohar) confirmed he’s not seeking an extension to his term’. Is that the complete truth?” say sources tracking developments.
The concern shared by Eddings in the letter is his stated view that “it would be detrimental for cricket if the cancellation of the “Australian event” (this year’s T20 World Cup) is replaced by award of the subsequent T20 World Cup in October/November 2022″.
Eddings’ letter says: “Australia has thankfully managed to ‘flatten the (Covid) curve’, meaning there is greater certainty of being able to play in Australia in 2021 (which is key to maintaining member distributions). This would give India another year to resolve any Covid-related problems”, thus emphasising that India should go on to host the 2022 event.
Cricket Australia says they had invested heavily in the recent women’s T20 “to make it the success it was” and spent a lot of money on marketing the event. Given the present financial burden, CA adds that there will be no guarantee of continued support from the government in 2022 who have agreed to pay US$4.5m for tourism partner rights.
Will India agree to host the 2022 event?
As long as the BCCI gets to host the IPL every year and their bilateral commitments at home remain fulfilled, India doesn’t have much to lose. “Revenue from an ICC event is not really much compared to the stakes BCCI has in its T20 league and all other international cricket at home. So, if India really wants to do Australia a favour, why not?” say those tracking developments. In the end, it is bound to be a political decision and not a commercial one, considering financial stakeholders have little to gain or lose in the bargain.
What’s in store on Thursday?
With ICC confirming that chairman Shashank Manohar will not be seeking an extension to his term and papers drafted for the nomination processes after an understanding between the members, the only other matter on the agenda apart from discussing the T20 World Cup will be to decide on the date for elections. “Technically, the deadline for nominations will be around two weeks after the ratification, which is Thursday. So elections could be either be held late in June or early in July,” sources say. Between now and the upcoming elections, expect the T20 World Cup to continue and remain a ‘political debate’.