By looks of it, T20 World Cup will not go ahead: David Warner

Monitoring Desk

NEW DELHI: Australian opener David Warner says it is unlikely that the T20 World Cup will be staged in his country in October-November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All cricketing activity has come to a halt due to the health crisis and there are serious doubts over the future of T20 World Cup.

“The ICC World Cup will not go ahead here by the looks of it. It will be difficult to get everyone (16 teams) together,” said Warner in an Instagram live session with India’s batting star Rohit Sharma.

However, the International Cricket Council is yet to take the final call on the T20 showpiece event.

During the chat, Rohit said India’s tour of Australia, which is scheduled after the T20 World Cup, will be a “great way” to restart international calendar.

“I love playing against Australia. When we won last time (in 2019), it was great for us. You guys (Warner and Steve Smith) were missing (due to ball-tampering bans).

“What our bowlers and batters did there was amazing. I am looking forward to the upcoming tour already. Hope both boards manage to get the series underway. Will be a great way to kick off cricket in the world,” said India’s limited overs vice-captain.

India won their first Test series in Australia, and Warner said he was feeling helpless watching his team lose.

“Watching that series was hard as you can’t do anything from the outside. But I want to say that India has the best pace attack against left-handers. They zero in one spot and keep bowling there.

“Mentally, it was great for Indian cricket but it was hard to watch. I felt helpless. Hope it does happen and looking forward to the battle,” said Warner.

The Australian said playing India in India is one of the toughest challenges in world cricket.

“I love playing India in India. Everyone is against you. Hard conditions. Same for you (Rohit) when you come here,” he said.

Warner is also not enthused by the idea of playing in front of empty stands, like Australia did against New Zealand in Sydney in March before the ODI series was called off.

“It was a bizarre experience. You could only hear echo of cricket ball. It was bizarre. We are used to calling ‘yes and no’ while running between wickets but we did not need to do that.

“It was literally like playing a warm up game. It was surreal. I don’t know for how long you can sustain that. You gain your momentum from home crowd.”

Rohit, meanwhile, joked about his opener partner Shikhar Dhawan’s reluctance to take strike on the first ball.

“He doesn’t like to face the first ball. I remember the 2013 Champions Trophy game against South Africa. I had just started opening and he was a regular opener. And you had to face the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. I had to face the first ball.

“Shikhar can be annoying but it is great to bat with him. He is such a delight to watch, got so many shots,” said Rohit.