It’s another week and another Cricket tour has been postponed because of the Coronavirus.
South Africa’s limited overs tour to Sri Lanka, which was scheduled for early June this year, and consisted of three ODIs and three T20Is, has been postponed for a later date.
This is increasingly worrying for the T20 World Cup, which is still scheduled for October this year, in Australia.
At this very moment, I am wondering that should the T20 World Cup still take place in October, would that be the correct decision?
Given the fact that so many tours, especially those consisting of important limited overs games are being postponed, would it be fair to ask teams to put forward a World Cup playing squad when they have had very little to no chance to see players in action, and formulate game plans based on player performances?
The players themselves would also have had very little opportunity to get game time and hone their skills, especially after such a prolonged break from the game. To their credit, players are doing well to keep fit and train at home, but there is no substitute for actual game time.
If Cricket doesn’t return until the beginning of October for instance, according to the Future Tour Programme, India would still have eight T20Is (including the Asia Cup) before the start of the T20 World Cup to use as preparation. Not ideal but better than most.
Australia and New Zealand would have six T20Is, Pakistan would have five, Bangladesh would have four, whereas England and South Africa would only have three T20Is to use as preparation.
After such a prolonged hiatus from the game, are a handful of rushed games adequate preparation?
As much as it pains me to say this, I feel the T20 World Cup should therefore be postponed until next year, so first and foremost, the Coronavirus can be stopped, and secondly, so all teams have the opportunity for a decent preparation period, one that will allow them to feel ready ahead of an important ICC tournament.