T20 World Cup: T20 World Cup unlikely to take place this year: Ehsan Mani | Cricket News

MUMBAI: Ehsan Mani could soon be a key man in world cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief is tipped to take over from India’s Shashank Manohar as the next chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) when elections for the post are held in July.
TOI caught up with the 75-year-old chartered accountant, who has already headed the ICC as its president back in 2003, for a chat.
As a senior cricket administrator, do you see cricket bouncing back from Covid? So many boards, including the PCB, have taken a massive hit financially…
I don’t think cricket will come ‘bouncing back’. The impact of COVID-19 and the cycles of the virus are different in different parts of the world. Cricket will be back but it will be through small tentative steps, depending on the country involved.
Is Pakistan’s tour to England a guarantee from ECB that they would tour Pakistan in the future?
We look to act in the interest of the game as a whole; this is not time for horse-trading. We have been in discussions with the English Cricket Board (ECB) over the past year. Their chief executive and a board member visited Pakistan last year. The ECB chairman, Colin Graves, is very supportive. We are confident that England will tour Pakistan for our next home series.
Are you confident that the Asia Cup will be held in Sri Lanka in September end? Why did you swap it with Lanka?
We will just have to wait and see what happens in the next two-three weeks. Swapping with Sri Lanka made sense as the COVID-19 situation is better there than in the rest of the sub-continent.
Unofficially, the BCCI has made it clear that they are not keen on the Asia Cup, as they want to conduct the IPL around that time. What’s your take on this? Have you spoken to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on this?
I cannot comment of the ‘unofficial’ views of unknown people. The BCCI president was at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting and there are no differences of views between us. BCCI is very supportive of cricket in Asia.
Do you think that the T20 World Cup should take place this year?
Given the COVID-19 situation and the number of participating teams taking part in the event, I believe it is unlikely to take place this year.
Do you think that holding the T20 World Cup is crucial to the well-being of many cricket boards around the world, who are struggling financially?
All the ICC events are important for world cricket not only for the money but also for the well-being of the game as a whole. The ICC’s decision on the timing of the ICC events will depend on the COVID-19 situation, the views of all the stakeholders and what is best for all the ICC members.
Do you think that it’s vital to hold the IPL for the health of world cricket at large? So many players and boards will get to earn handsome money in these times of distress…
It is important for BCCI and I am sure BCCI will hold it as soon as practicable, but it has no impact on PCB.
There have been reports that you’ve been approached by a few member boards of the ICC to take over as the new ICC chairman, and that you’ve been lobbying for that post…
I did not lobby when I became chairman of the ICC in 2003 and am not doing it now.
Shashank Manohar’s term as the ICC chairman is about to come to an end. How would you sum up his tenure?
Mr Manohar brought all the members together after the damage inflicted on world cricket by the so called ‘big three’. I am sure that all the ICC members appreciate what he has done in unifying all the ICC members in the interest of the game. I have the highest regard for him.
Things are bad right now between the two nations, but do you see India and Pakistan play a bilateral series in the future?
More cricket fans around the world watch an India vs Pakistan match than any other cricket match. There is healthy rivalry on the field and it is great for the game. In Pakistan, we do not mix sport and politics. I have always got on well with the Indian cricket administrators such as Madhavrao Scindia, Jagmohan Dalmiya, Inderjit Singh Bindra, Raj Singh Dungarpur and many others. I have great respect for Sourav Ganguly. PCB has no issues with BCCI.

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