Cricket Australia To Prepare For The Worst, Hoping For The Best - Kevin Roberts > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Cricket Australia preparing for the worst, hoping for the best - Kevin Roberts

There could be a possibility that India's Tests could be played in only one or two venues -- unlike the scheduled four venues

There could be a possibility that India's Tests could be played in only one or two venues -- unlike the scheduled four venues

Kevin Roberts has admitted that Cricket Australia (CA) were "planning for the worst and hoping for the best" a day after announcing an elaborate home summer schedule. According to the release, the international season Down Under will stretch from August 9, 2020 when Zimbabwe play an ODI to New Zealand's solitary T20I on February 20, 2021. And the CA CEO also accepted that there were "endless scenarios and possibilities" with what's been looked at as an ambitious schedule, considering the world is still reeling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It could be everything from the season delivered in full to significant issues with bringing teams in. We're very optimistic that we'll be able to stage the Indian men's tours and the other inbound tours for the season. We're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer," he said before adding, "We're optimistic that we will withstand this situation and we're hopeful we can deliver the season looking very similar to the schedule we've just released."

India dominate the schedule with both the men's and women's team set to tour. Virat Kohli & Co, not surprisingly, will be the flavour of the summer with three T20Is, four Tests and 3 ODIs. But Roberts was candid enough to recognize the "very high degree of uncertainty" that hangs around every aspect of that potential Indian visit, including whether they will play their four Tests at four different venues, considering most state borders in Australia still remain shut for now. He believed that CA's hosting plans will keep evolving based on the many "variables" that'll get dictated by the circumstances around the pandemic.

"We are exploring all options from chartered flights in from other countries through to creating biosecurity bubbles in different venues and it may well be as much as we've released the schedule and we have for example four Indian Tests scheduled for four states, that assumes that state borders are open to domestic travel. It may be that circumstances dictate that when the time comes maybe we can use only one or two venues. We don't know any of that yet," he said.

The schedule released by CA on Thursday (May 28) though has raised many question marks over where it leaves the men's 2020 T20 WC. There have been reports recently where Australia have suggested that they host it at some point next year and let India postpone the 2021 T20 WC by a year. According to Roberts, there were potential windows-like February-March or October-November next year-in case it doesn't go through this year, of which he said, "there's a very high risk of happening".

"There are implications for ICC events over a number of years. A lot of complexity for the ICC to deal with. They need to be thinking about when to stage the men's T20 WC that's planned for Australia. There's another one planned in India a year later and then in 2023, there's the men's cricket World Cup (50-overs) for India as well. And not to forget on the women's side of the ledger, you've got the cricket World Cup in NZ early next year. The ICC is juggling a lot of balls there," he explained.

Roberts did, however, reveal that the prospect of the T20 WC not being held this year would cause a AUD 20 million hit on the CA coffers. And when asked whether the national cricket board had pressed the panic button a bit prematurely in terms of dealing out pay-cuts to its staff, the CEO said that there was nothing to suggest that cricket would have remained "immune" to the economic challenges of the pandemic. And he said that CA will have to brace for further financial damages even if the summer was to go ahead as per schedule.

"The economic pain of the situation as we've heard from so many experts will be ongoing. And, so we are focused on delivering the best season possible noting that the likelihood of significant crowds is very slim. Ordinarily, that'll deliver well over 50 million dollars revenue to CA. It's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put into place to deliver our season will cost in the order of 10 million dollars. So, this is by no means an ordinary season in terms of the financial impact on Australian cricket," said Roberts.

The schedule for the home summer has come in for some criticism locally too with the WACA having expressed their discontent over not being picked to host a Test against the Indians. And Roberts addressed it saying that the decision to grant Brisbane the opening Test against Kohli's team had to do with maintaining the balance over the FTP scheduling of high-profile matches within the country.

"We empathise with the disappointment in Perth but at the same time, it's a historic moment to host Afghanistan for their first-ever Test in Australia. if Perth receives the India Test next year it would mean they would host two England Tests and two India Tests over this eight-year cycle - a total of four against England and India - whereas Brisbane would have only hosted two. That would have created an imbalance over the cycle of the FTP and in the national interest in ensuring we take high-profile Test matches to cricket fans in Queensland it was a more well-balanced solution, assuming we can have full crowds in place," he said, again revealing that all the planning that CA are involved in now comes with a 'subject to change' disclaimer.

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