IMAGE: England skipper Eoin Morgan.Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
England's white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has cast doubts on the T20 World Cup going ahead as per schedule, saying that hosts Australia would be wary of risking a second wave of coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Australia, who are scheduled to host the T20 World Cup from October 18 to November 15, has been largely successful in containing the contagion by sealing their borders and imposing travel restrictions.
"I'd be surprised if it goes ahead," Morgan was quoted as saying by the Press Association.
"My reasons for that would be if you look at how Australia has handled the pandemic, they've shut down the borders pretty early, had a limited number of cases and deaths in comparison to the rest of the world," he added.
Morgan said going ahead, Australia, which has reported just over 7,100 positive cases with more than 6500 recoveries and 103 deaths, would be weighing their options.
"Their biggest worry moving forward - a small negative to a huge positive - would be they almost don't know what the immunity would be like if the virus does have an outbreak," he added.
Morgan said that having teams flying in from across the world will come with the possibility of a second COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
"Having 16 teams across several venues has the potential to expose something," Morgan said.
"It might only be a handful of cases to be spread, but when you look at how quickly it escalates, you weigh up the chance of playing a World Cup or postponing it, (which is) probably a bigger positive," he added.
A decision on the T20 World Cup will be taken when the International Cricket Council's all-powerful board holds a teleconference on Thursday.
There is also speculation that the 13th IPL, which was suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic, might be conducted in October-November if the T20 World Cup in Australia is postponed.
Last year, Morgan had announced his desire to lead England at the 2020 and 2021 T20 World Cups and the white-ball skipper said the coronavirus enforced break has given players, including him the opportunity to mentally reset.
"It doesn't change that view for the simple reason that I think there are a lot of players that would have benefited from this break," he said.
"It's not a physical break it's a complete mental refresh from the game that we're grossly involved in and have been for some time. I certainly have. I feel at that stage now where I want to pick up a bat again and I'm ready to go as opposed to picking up a bat because I'm playing in three weeks' time. That's always a nice place to be," Morgan added.