T20 WC will lose charm if held behind closed doors: Imam-Ul-Haq

Lahore: Pakistan’s opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq on Wednesday said that if the upcoming T20 World Cup happens behind closed doors, then the tournament would end up losing its charm.

“Playing cricket without crowds would look odd. If T20 World Cup takes place, then I think it should take place in front of crowds. I think if it happens behind closed doors, then it would lose its charm but the final decision lies with the ICC. Maybe the World Cup is postponed. The safety of players and crowd needs to be looked at as well,” Imam-ul-Haq told reporters in a video conference.

The Men’s T20 World Cup is slated to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15 this year. However, with the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the fate of the tournament hangs in the balance.

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There is a high possibility that the T20 World Cup takes place without crowds. Australia has also put in a six-month travel ban. So right now, the future of the tournament remains uncertain.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Manu Sawhney on Monday had said that the elite body will consult the Australian government regarding the Men’s T20 World Cup 2020.

“In relation to ICC events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, we will continue to take advice from experts and authorities, including the Australian government. We will utilise all of the data and information available to us to ensure we can take responsible decisions around all competitions at an appropriate time that are in the best interests of our sport,” Sawhney said in a statement.

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As all sporting activities have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely that the event will get postponed.

The governing body of cricket is hosting Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) meeting on April 23, which will give an update on the tournament.

Right now, no sport is being played as all top tournaments like IPL, Premier League, LA Liga have been suspended and there is no certain answer as to when the coronavirus crisis will subside.

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