Dublin, July 23 (IANS) The inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam, a new franchise league, has been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Efforts were made to host the event somewhere in 2020 following "positive talks" between organisers, financial backers and cricket boards (Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands).
However, with continued uncertainty around the impacts of COVID-19 on international travel, quarantine requirements and the status of fan attendance at matches, the board of the tournament made the decision to postpone it till next year.
"We had been discussing in recent weeks alternative arrangements to get the competition started - single venue, reduced team and player pool, a shorter competition - and, given the speed with which we set up the tri-series between the three boards in Dublin last September, we felt confident to leave the decision as late as possible to give ourselves the best chance to make it work," Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of Ireland Cricket stated in a release on Wednesday.
"However, we have now run out of road, particularly with the Irish government's recent decision to delay the next stage of relaxing its restrictions to August 10th and the Slam Board reluctantly reached the conclusion that the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and compromises being made to the original objectives did not make it a viable start in 2020.
"Prudent measures had to be taken, as to proceed now - only to have to pull the plug later due to a resurgent pandemic or unfavourable changes in playing or travel conditions - would risk the feasibility of the project. By making this decision now, the board has reduced all parties exposure to risk and - speaking from a Cricket Ireland perspective - removed any financial exposure at a time when financial headwinds are already a challenge."
"I believe we have made, and will continue to make, decisions that give the concept the best chance to succeed, including being prudent in not proceeding if the circumstances aren't right. The three participating cricket boards have also made it clear that the competition must deliver on the original objectives of providing high-quality cricket experiences for our players ? that is the reason we set out on this road initially. Even if it takes until the third time of asking, we still very much believe in the viability, purpose and interest in a European T20 franchise concept, and will continue to do our best to bring it to fruition," he added.
Euro T20 Slam, a collaborative venture between Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland, the Netherlands' KNCB and commercial partners GS Holdings, was initially scheduled to begin at the end of August in Amsterdam last year and was to feature two teams from each of Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands. However, it was then postponed to 2020.