Cape Town – South Africa is being touted as a possible host nation for extra ICC World Twenty20 tournaments within the next six years … but with Government objection viewed as a potential stumbling block.
English newspaper the Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk) has reported that it understands the International Cricket Council has opened discussions with broadcasters about organising WT20 events in 2018 and 2022 – the existing plan had been to only follow up the successful 2016 tournament in India with one four years up the line in 2020, when Australia has the hosting rights.
But a rethink is in progress, which would effectively see the WT20 return to an every-two-years cycle.
The report says a proposal for additional tournaments is expected to feature on the agenda for the ICC’s annual meeting in Edinburgh scheduled for late June.
West Indies – who won the latest event at both men’s and women’s level – is being touted as possible host for a 2018 WT20, if approved, and the United Arab Emirates may be front-runner for 2022.
A significant snag with the Caribbean option, however, is that the region has an inconvenient time difference to the mass Indian television market.
That is far less of an obstacle when it comes to South Africa, which has even hosted the Indian Premier League (IPL) on an emergency bases previously, given the far more suitable time-zone factor.
The Telegraph said: “Another possibility (for 2018) is South Africa, although the government there recently banned its cricket board (Cricket South Africa) from hosting global tournaments because of failure to meet racial quotas.”
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula took the drastic, much-publicised action recently against CSA, SA Rugby and other sports administrations, citing an unacceptably slow pace of transformation.
It is expected that the next WT20, if it does get a go-ahead for 2018, would be staged during the window that has cropped up in the packed international roster in September and October through the collapse of the former Twenty20 Champions League event.
That would again suit our country reasonably well, as it is roughly when the local season-proper gets underway anyway.
South Africa did stage, to some acclaim, the maiden two-week ICC World Twenty20 in mid-September 2007.
Games were played countrywide, despite the risks associated with winter/early spring rainfall areas like the Western Cape, and with minimal weather disruption.
SA seems reasonably “due” for a major cricket jamboree not far up the line as it has also not staged the 50-overs World Cup since 2003.
*Sport24 has contacted both CSA and the ICC’s head of media and communications, Sami Ul Hasan, for comment on the British report, although replies had not been received at the time of writing.
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