If reports from ESPNCricinfo are to be believed, then the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will be played in the UAE, instead of the original venue India. Furthermore, the 16-team event will start days after the IPL final, which is likely to be held on October 15.
The T20 World Cup 2021 is expected to begin on October 17 onwards and the final of the tournament will take place on November 14. India was supposed to host the 2021 T20 World Cup, but the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in them losing the venue rights, though they might still be involved as hosts of the tournament.
ICC Sets The Ball Rolling In Terms Of Planning For The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 To Be Held In UAE
As per ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI is yet to write to the ICC officially about shifting the T20 World Cup to the UAE, but the world cricket body has already set the wheels in the motion in terms of planning for the tournament to be held in the Middle East.
As per the current plan, the first round of the T20 World Cup will be split across two groups and played in the UAE and Oman. Round 1, which will include 12 matches, will comprise eight teams from which four (top two from each group) would qualify for the Super 12s.
Four teams from this lot of eight – Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea – will then progress to the Super 12s, joining the top eight ranked T20I teams.
The Super 12s round will have 30 matches and is expected to begin from October 24 onwards and the teams will be split into two groups of six each, and the matches will be played at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. This will be followed by three playoff games – the two semi-finals and the final.
With Round 1 being co-hosted by one of the venues in the UAE and Oman, the BCCI is confident that will offer enough time to refresh the pitches across the main grounds in the UAE for the Super 12s.
In their meeting on June 1, BCCI got until the end of June to give its final word on whether India will be able to host the T20 World Cup to the ICC. However, things look grim as BCCI had to shift the second half of the IPL 2021 to the UAE as well, which will start September 19 onwards.
Despite the pandemic numbers climbing down since the alarming peak of the April-May period, public health experts have predicted India will face a third wave later in 2021, which coincides with the proposed dates of the T20 World Cup 2021.