POSTPONEMENT OF PSL ENCOURAGES ICC TO RETHINK THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR T20 WORLD CUP

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Pakistan Cricket League popularly known as PSL has been postponed after a string of COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed amongst the players. PSL was very important for the Pakistan Cricket Board but PCB had to decide against the league because of the soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases amongst the team players. Pakistan Cricket Board says that the safety of the cricketers is the most important for them. Thus, the league would be held in a different window this year. Now is obviously not a great time to hold the Pakistan Super League.

This postponement has been a lesson for the world cricket and keeping this example in mind the ICC has said that the PSL example would be used for the finalisation of the bio-secure bubble protocols for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Of course, the ICC would not like to take any chance and would ensure the best possible methods to keep the players safe.

ICC IS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE SITUATION

Manu Sawhney, chief executive of the International Cricket Council  has declared his seriousness about increasing the safety measures and ensuring a much securer bio-bubble. He compared a bilateral series to a world cup saying, “For example, given a series which is a bilateral series, let’s say between two teams, versus let’s say a World Cup, which has 16 teams coming from 16 different countries into one country, the risk associated with that are exponentially larger and way different.” We can’t say that Sawhney’s calculation and fear are wrong. The chief executive is thinking ahead and that is what’s required in this situation. He also said that the council is still trying to understand the complexities of the situation. Everyday they are learning “as to what needs to be done.”

Sawhney also talked about “learning from what India is doing currently”. He said that the board has “done a great job” and they are waiting for the T20 to take place in India which will work as the “key factor in terms of learning” before they start with the T20 World Cup later in the year.

AN ENORMOUS CHALLENGE

T20 World Cup is to be held in India in the months of October-November but the dates have not been revealed yet. Sawhney realises that it is a big responsibility to bring 16 teams into one country with their safety protocols, then keeping them secure and sending them back  to their respective countries. At the same time the ICC and BCCI have to make sure that the tournament does take place. According to Sawhney, this work needs team effort. He said, “everybody needs to come together and everybody needs to realise that there is a high probability that things may not go as per plan.” He also said that they all need to put their faith into each other and believe that all of them would try their best to make things happen.

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