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State of Origin set to clash with T20 World Cup

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15th May, 2020
11

The NRL is on a collision course with the Twenty20 World Cup with the second State of Origin set to clash with Australia’s possible semi-final at the SCG.

All three State of Origin fixtures will reportedly be played in the space of 14 days this year after the season, on November 4, 11 and 18.

It’s expected the men’s T20 World Cup will be cancelled or postponed, amid concerns over the ability of 15 teams to travel to Australia and whether crowds can attend.

But after Channel Nine aired concerns over clashes with the World Cup last month, a clash appears certain if the tournament does go ahead.

The top-ranked Australians are guaranteed to play in the November 11 semi-final if they progress out of their group, due to a deal that sees their final-four game slated for the SCG.

Nine has the exclusive free-to-air rights to the World Cup semi-finals, and would therefore be set to show the match.

They also have the rights to State of Origin, meaning they would be forced to split their viewers between two of their channels.

Technically, anti-siphoning laws means both events should be on Nine’s main channel, as sports on the list can’t premiere on a digital multichannel.

Both State of Origin and Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup matches on home soil are on that list.

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That has however not been followed in the past, with Nine showing last year’s Ashes on Gem.

Cricket Australia and tournament organisers are still hopeful the World Cup can be played as planned, with the event set to be a massive financial windfall for the cash-strapped sport.

However, there are concerns over whether Indian officials will want the tournament to proceed, given the Indian Premier League could be pushed into that slot.

The NRL would not confirm the dates of their Origin matches on Friday, but a report from News Corp claimed they would be on the three successive Wednesdays.

It means it will be the first time all Origins have been played in the space of 14 days since its inception in 1980.

It also means players who feature in the October 25 grand final will have 10 days to recover and prepare for the highest-intensity games of the year.

NRL interim CEO Andrew Abdo said Origin dates will be announced next week, although stadiums will not be confirmed until later in the year.

“In terms of where we play, we won’t be announcing that next week because there’s a number of considerations around public health orders and whether or not we’ll be able to have crowds at those games.”

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© AAP