The summer could even top the celebration in English cricket last year when the Old Enemy lifted their first World Cup on home soil after a dramatic tied final before a stirring battle for the urn.
Discussions are ongoing but the fate of the tournament is set to be debated at a meeting of the board of the International Cricket Council later this month but, as reported in the Herald on Sunday, Australian cricket chiefs are resigned to this year’s World Cup being postponed.
Talks on the World Cup will reveal the considerable clout world powerhouse India holds in the modern game.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is intent on holding the lucrative IPL, which, in a report written by a former tournament powerbroker Sundar Raman, is worth 70 per cent more in revenue than the T20 World Cup.
There are reports the BCCI is looking to host the world’s richest T20 league from September 25 to November 1 in India with the UAE as a fallback option.
A T20 World Cup in February has been mooted but that would cause significant disruption to the international calendar as all Test nations already have engagements.
It is particularly problematic for India, whose board would have to give up TV riches for the marquee five-Test series against England, while Australia is also due to play Tests in South Africa for the first time since the explosive tour in 2018.
An October World Cup would mean India would then have to find new dates for its 2021 event but the inconvenience is not comparable to the financial importance the IPL is to the BCCI.
“IPL remains the single biggest event for the global cricket economy. With a contribution of around 1/3 of global cricket revenues annually, the importance of IPL cricket’s global economy cannot be over-stressed,” Raman, a former chief operating officer of the IPL, told the Times of India.
“If IPL was to be considered a separate cricket body and revenues from IPL were to be removed from the Indian cricket board’s revenues, IPL would emerge as the biggest revenue generator for global cricket – higher even than ICC & ACC (Asian Cricket Council) revenues combined.”
The BCCI has stated the importance of playing bilateral series over global events to aid the sport’s financial recovery when games are able to resume from the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald