Covid committee to decide on T20 World Cup matches, says ICC

Acting chief executive also plays down Afghanistan's participation in month-long event being held in UAE and Oman

The fate of matches if players test positive for Covid-19 during the T20 World Cup being held in UAE and Oman will be decided by a committee and not member boards.

T20 cricket's showpiece events begins October 17 with the International Cricket Council (ICC) hoping for a smooth tournament, with the Emirates so far successfully staging the postponed Indian Premier League, with the final taking place two days before the World Cup.

India pulled out of the fifth and final Test against England last month hours before the game in Manchester was set to start after several members of the touring party contracted the virus. The decision left the England and Wales Cricket board facing huge financial losses.

Geoff Allardice, the ICC's acting chief executive, 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 T20 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 taking part 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.

Updated: October 10th 2021, 11:26 AM