The fate of Twenty20 World Cup matches if players test Covid positive will be decided by a committee and not by the member boards, the global governing body said Sunday.
T20 cricket’s showpiece events begins October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman with the International Cricket Council hoping for a smooth tournament amid coronavirus concerns.
India’s pull out just two hours before the toss of the fifth Manchester Test due to Covid fears in their camp last month left the England and Wales Cricket board facing financial losses and was a reminder of the uncertain times.
ICC’s acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said any such last-minute decisions will be taken by a bio-safety advisory group.
“We have a committee set up to look at any cases that arise during the event and they will look at identifying close contacts and taking decisions around future events,” Allardice told a virtual news conference
“Any decisions around matches will be taken by that committee and it’s not going to be something that’s going to be dealt with by the members as it may do in bilateral cricket.”
The 16 nations at the World Cup will be confined to their hotels for the majority of the month-long tournament.
Allardice also played down Afghanistan’s participation with spotlight on the war-torn nation due to the recent takeover of Taliban.
“When the change of regime took place in Afghanistan in August, we have been in regular touch with the Afghanistan Cricket Board,” said Allardice.
“Our primary function is to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board. We have said all along that we are waiting to see how things unfold under the different regime in that country.
“The ICC board will consider it when they next meet which is looking like the end of the T20 World Cup.”
Australia Test captain Tim Paine recently said teams could pull out of the World Cup or boycott games against Afghanistan over the Taliban’s reported ban on women participating in sport.
Allardice said there was no doubt over Afghanistan’s participation in the showpiece event.
“They are full member of the ICC and the team is preparing for the event at the moment and will be playing in Group B,” he said.
“As far as their participation in the event, it’s proceeding as normal.”
Meanwhile the decision review system will be used for the first time in a T20 World Cup and Allardice said there will be two reviews in each innings.