The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly informed PTI on Monday that the T20 World Cup, which was supposed to be hosted in India, has been moved to the UAE due to safety concerns raised by COVID-19. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it has informed the International Cricket Council, the sport’s governing body, of its intention to hold the tournament in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.
The ICC had given the BCCI a four-week window to determine and tell the ICC whether India could host the flagship tournament because to the COVID-19 scenario in the nation at the start of the month.
“We have told the ICC about the decision to shift the World Cup to UAE. We were left with no option as the COVID-19 situation is not clear and the travel restrictions remain,” BCCI’s treasurer, Arun Dhumal said.
“The dates will more or less be the same and we will work out the details soon”, he added.
T20 World Cup to be shifted from India to UAE
The qualifiers may be held in Oman, according to BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla, while the remainder of the matches would be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. After the T20 competition was postponed on May 4 owing to a number of players and team officials getting infected with COVID-19, the BCCI had already shifted the paused Indian Premier League to the UAE in September-October. The Pakistan Super League, which concluded last week in the Gulf nation, has made the UAE a popular cricket destination. Last year, the IPL was also hosted in the UAE.
“If the BCCI is unable to host an eight-team IPL in September, how could it have hosted World T20 within a month? Also, now we have a new variant (Delta 3) and there is every possibility of a third wave in the country in October. The BCCI brass was always well aware that it won’t be practically feasible,” an ICC board member said.
In addition, India is on the ‘Red List,’ which includes nations such as the United Kingdom and Australia, and travel might be difficult if the regulations are not loosened before then.
After several incidents of bubble breach during the postponed edition in India, it is also known that the majority of the member nations were comfortable playing the IPL in the UAE. The BCCI was also considering hosting a three-city tournament with the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Pune. However, there were a number of problems on that front as well.