Geoff Allardice, General Manager of Cricket Operations for the ICC, has thrown some light into the schedule of the World Test Championship, which has been jeopardized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Futures Tours and Programme (FTP) planned by the ICC has taken a major hit due to the pandemic, with the T20 World Cup already postponed, to give member nations time to complete their bilateral commitments.
Allardice said, “We are currently in discussion with members on what their plans are around rescheduling their series. Obviously their teams have re-scheduled them (their engagements) as quickly as possible. Depending on how many of them (postponed series) could be re-scheduled within the available time will give us the most appropriate timing for the final. But at this stage the final is scheduled for June 2021.”
“We are working with the members on that…Countries are now working out on how to resume and when it”s best to resume and they are all in their process of looking at calenders,” the former Victoria batsman added.
Allardice also clarified that the ICC would act only as a mediator for the members as the body can’t directly get involved in drawing up their calendars. He said,”I don’t see us taking a greater role in terms of being pro-active. ICC plays a role in coordinating competitions, but it has no role in scheduling as it is on members.”
Allardice also clarified the reason behind the truncation of matches in bilateral One Day International contests since 2018. He said, “The rules around league were established, back in 2017-18, a decision was taken at that time that T20Is and ODis will be three-match series. Earlier, it used to be five ODIs and a T20 International. Probably it changes the balance but when the league was designed, the countries agreed that there would be three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.”
Talking about women’s cricket, Allardice refused to buy the notion that the women’s game is likely to suffer more because of the pandemic compared to men’s cricket. He said, “Women’s cricket is as much affected as men’s cricket. The planning is going ahead for the event and the situation is being monitored.”