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T20 World Cup still set for India despite spike in Covid cases but ICC working on back-up plans

International Cricket Council still expects the 2021 T20 World Cup to be staged in India in October and November despite rise in number of Covid cases; back-up plans could be activated but ICC's Geoff Allardice says 'we're not anywhere near that timeline yet'

T20 World Cup (Getty Images)
Image: The 2021 T20 World Cup is still on course to be staged in India, despite a spike in coronavirus cases, says the ICC

The Twenty20 World Cup is still on course to be held in India later this year despite a huge spike in the country's Covid-19 cases, with the International Cricket Council insisting there is no cause to accelerate contingency planning.

Daily infections broke the 100,000 mark for the first time earlier this month, having previously dipped below 20,000 in January, inviting major concerns with just six months to go before the scheduled start of the competition.

Geoff Allardice, acting chief executive of the ICC, says there is not yet serious concern that the event may need to be postponed or relocated.

"We are certainly proceeding on the assumption that the event is going ahead as planned," he said.

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"We're not oblivious to what is going on around the world and we continue to take updates on all aspects of how sporting events are being run and the situation in each country.

"Cricket is being played in a number of countries around the world, we're taking lessons from all of those and proceeding as planned.

"We do have back-up plans that can be activated when the time is right. We're not anywhere near that timeline yet. We've got a number of months to be able to see how the situation is and how cricket events are being run.

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"We're in reasonably good shape at the moment but acknowledge the world is changing at a rapid rate."

Darren Sammy, 2016 T20 World Cup (Getty Images)
Image: West Indies won the previous men's T20 World Cup, which was held in India in 2016

Allardice expressed a firm preference for international players taking up the offer of a vaccine but accepts that pushing that issue any further is firmly outside his organisation's administrative remit.

"I think our medical committee and the board are recommending that participants should be vaccinated wherever possible," he said.

"But the dynamics in each country will be different with the supply of the vaccine and the availability of vaccinations and where sports people or international sports people might be in the queue.

"The ICC wouldn't be able to influence that at a national level but our overall message has been that we recommend participants coming to our events in future are vaccinated wherever possible."

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