The ICC has arranged backup venues for the 2021 T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in India next year. With the COVID-19 situation still grim in India and the situation escalating, the ICC has booked two backup countries to stage the showpiece event in case of contingency. Sri Lanka and UAE are the ones, which have fallen under selection.
Last week, the ICC confirmed that India would play as hosts for the 2021 T20 World Cup while Australia to stage the year after that. The COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging for Australia to host the marquee competition this year in October. Hence, after months of waiting, speculation, and a lengthy discussion, the apex body of cricket decided to defer it.
As per a report from ESPN Cricinfo, Sri Lanka and UAE have fallen under the category of backup venues in case India fails to flatten the pandemic’s curve by the time next year’s competition approaches.
The sub-continent nation is one of the hardest-hit countries, falling third in line for the most number of cases after the United States and Brazil. The country has recorded more than two million cases and registering 45000 fatalities.
BCCI underlines the reason for hosting the ICC tournament in 2021:
The BCCI highlighted that they do not want to stage three marquee tournaments back to back including the World Cup and IPL in 2023. Hence, they took the 2021 T20 World Cup and let Australia have the one after that. While backup venues are always a part of every tournament, in the light of COVID-19 crisis it has become more significant.