The International Cricket Council (ICC) is inclining towards choosing UAE as the hosts for this year’s T20 World Cup instead of India. There have already been massive doubts over India’s capability of staging the T20 World Cup due to the IPL 2021 proving to be a casualty. Apart from the UAE, the apex body has shortlisted another middle-east venue in Oman as co-hosts if India cannot do it.
ESPN Cricinfo reported that the ICC granted BCCI time till the 28th of June to decide whether or not they can host the tournament after President Sourav Ganguly requested it. However, the ICC reportedly considers it safe to shift the event out of India, while allowing the BCCI to retain the hosting rights. On the 29th of May, Sourav Ganguly told the BCCI office-bearers at a Special General Meeting (SGM) that they would seek from ICC some time whether they could stage the competition.
The most significant concern from India’s perspective is the COVID-19 situation in India, with the nation currently battling a second wave. The health professionals have predicted for the third wave to occur during the winter this year, with the T20 World Cup initially scheduled from mid-October to the end of November. As of now, India remains behind the United States of America (USA) on the list of countries with the highest number of infections. Recently, the BCCI had to postpone the IPL 2021 indefinitely as a cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged within the bio-bubble.
A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month: ICC
An ICC statement revealed they should focus all the planning and management on hosting the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE and booking another venue in the middle-east. While a final decision will follow at the end of this month, BCCI will play as hosts regardless of the country.
“The ICC Board has requested management focus its planning efforts for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East. A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month. The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played,” the statement said.