Will Cricket’s Bubble Burst In 2021?


ISLAMABAD, December 21 (online): International cricket found a way through this year’s coronavirus pandemic but the strain of ‘bubble life’ was evident by the end of 2020. The women’s Twenty20 World Cup, won by Australia in front of a Melbourne crowd of more than 86,000 on March 8, escaped the ravages of Covid-19 but the men’s game soon ground to a halt during an Australia-New Zealand series. In a perfect summary of the topsy-turvy cricket year, India eventually went to Australia and were bowled out for 36 in a humiliating first Test defeat.
After the March lockdown, international cricket, sustained by the broadcast income from tours and tournaments, did not resume again until the England-West Indies Test series in July.
That month also saw the International Cricket Council announce it was postponing this year’s men’s World Twenty20 in Australia until 2022.
The England-West Indies series, played at the ‘bio-secure’ venues of Southampton and Manchester, established a template for cricket amid the pandemic and spared the England and Wales Cricket Board, one of the wealthier national governing bodies, from a crippling financial hit.