Reports: ICC postponed 2023 World Cup in India to accommodate PSL on PCB chief's request

As per the original schedule, WC 2023 was scheduled to take place in February-March window.

Ehsan Mani and Sourav Ganguly
Ehsan Mani and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this week officially postponed the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in October in Australia. It cited the primary reason for the decision as the COVID-19 pandemic, but many felt that the apex cricket paved the way for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to happen. At the same time, ICC also rescheduled the window for the 2023 World Cup in India.

The mega event was earlier set to take place in February-March window. However, if the reports are to believed, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani pulled strings ahead of the meeting and cleared up the window for the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The 2023 WC is now set to take place in October-November with the final to be played on November 26.

Interestingly, the window is cleared for the PSL to take place now for the next three years with all the three ICC events to take place in the second half of the year. Also, no international series is scheduled in February-March now for the next three years. “This means that now the international window in Feb-March is free for the next three years. That’s the window PCB had always chosen to hold the PSL.

“The PCB chairman garnered support from various ICC Board members to ensure that there is a proper window available for the PSL on the international calendar,” the source told The News, Pakistan.

PCB will now be able to fetch lucrative sponsorship deals

The PCB will now be able to fetch lucrative sponsorship deals for the PSL thanks to the clear window in 2021, 2022 and 2023. This will also lead to more international players taking part in the tournament attracting the viewers and the sponsors.

“The Board may not be on the brink of bankruptcy but it is going to face the crunch unless it manages substantial media and commercial rights deals. The fact that PSL has a window available for 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions means that PCB is now in a much better position to sell the rights,” the source further added.

Earlier, former Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif had alleged the BCCI of flexing its muscles in the postponement of the T20 World Cup to make the IPL happen. It will be interesting to see now if they comment on this matter.