Off The Field

Pakistan legend Wasim Akram pushes for T20 World Cup postponement

Written by Vipin Darwade

pakistan great Wasim Akram has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to postpone the T20 World Cup, saying the authorities should wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to subside.

Wasim Akram said that a World Cup is all about fans and atmosphere and hosting it behind closed doors doesn’t make sense.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 15 in Australia. However, there is uncertainty surrounding the 16-team tournament, given the growing concerns over Covid-19 pandemic across the world and the strict travel restrictions in Australia.

The ICC was set to take a call on important matters, including the T20 World Cup, in its board meeting last month but it has been deferred until June 10.

Stressing that ICC should look at having a ‘proper World Cup’, Wasim Akram said he can’t image a Cricket World Cup without fans.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I mean, how could you have a cricket World Cup without spectators. A World Cup is all about big crowds, spectators coming from all parts of the globe to support their teams. It’s all about the atmosphere and you cannot get it behind closed doors,” Wasim Akram told ‘The News’.

“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.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the global sporting calendar. Several high-profile tournaments, including the Tokyo Olympics and Wimbledon, have either been cancelled or postponed.

Cricket is taking baby steps towards resumption as the likes of England, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka have begun training. England have announced a 3-Test series against the West Indies in July and Pakistan are also set to travel to the UK for a Test series later in July.

Meanwhile, former Australia cricketer Dean Jones said he doesn’t see Australia hosting the T20 World Cup as scheduled this year.

“T20 World Cup isn’t going to happen in Australia this year for a lot of reasons,” Jones said on Sportscreen’s YouTube page.

“Firstly, Cricket Australia has retrenched a lot of people. So, when you have 16 teams here, and 30-40 people per team including staff, players and administrators, you won’t be able to do it. “Especially with the cover restrictions being very stringent here in Australia. And the host country also doesn’t not make much money by hosting a World Cup,” he said.

About the author

Vipin Darwade