There is a slim chance that not only the T20 World Cup is set to take place this year itself, but it might take place in front of up to 10,000 spectators in different venues in host country Australia, according to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who spoke to ESPNCricinfo on Friday.
Morrison initially said that stadiums with a capacity below 40,000 will be permitted the presence of up to 10,000 fans, leaving out iconic cricket grounds like MCG, SCG and Adelaide Oval. He said, “This is going to be looked at over the next few weeks. For the larger ones (venues) I would venture that it would be the subject of a discrete approval for each venue that would be worked out with the Chief Health Officer in each state or territory.”
“So by the time you get into July there may be that type of opportunity for the rules that apply to those under 40,000 carry over to those above 40,000. These will be practical, commonsense issues, work through by the medical expert panel over the next few weeks and I think they will give a great instruction.”
While New Zealand has declared that it has no active COVID-19 cases, Australia too is among the least affected countries by the pandemic with little over 7000 infections being reported till date.
Morrison said allowing spectators in stadiums with more than 40,000 capacity will take some more time. He explained, “When you’re up above 40,000, you’ve got more than 10,000 people going to a gathering, that has implications for the egress and access of and to those premises, public transport crushes, all those sorts of things. That will require much more significant work.”
After deferring the decision on the future of the T20 World Cup twice before, the ICC is expected to take a concrete decision on the future of the global tournament in July. With the number of cases going down in the country, the chances of the tournament taking place as per schedule have seemingly brightened.