The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be staged in the UAE and Oman due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in India. (More Cricket News)
The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held in Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, from October 17 to November 14.
“Our priority is to deliver the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 safely, in full and in its current window. Whilst, we are incredibly disappointed not to be hosting the event in India, the decision gives us the certainty we need to stage the event in a country that is a proven international host of multi-team events in a bio-secure environment. We will work closely with the BCCI, the Emirates Cricket Board and Oman Cricket to ensure fans can enjoy a wonderful celebration of cricket,” Geoff Allardice, acting ICC CEO, said.
“The BCCI made every effort to stage the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India and provide its passionate fans with a reason to cheer after a long period of gloom. However, the prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned was fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature is held across the country. The BCCI will continue to host the tournament, which will now be held in the UAE and Oman and work closely with the ICC to make it a memorable event,” Jay Shah, BCCI Secretary, said.
“The BCCI is looking forward to hosting the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 tournament in UAE and Oman. We would have been happier hosting it in India but considering the uncertainty due to the Covid 19 situation and the importance of a world championship, the BCCI will now continue to host this tournament in UAE and Oman,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said.
The ICC, at the start of the month, had given BCCI a four-week window to decide and inform whether India could host the marquee event considering the COVID-19 situation in the country. It was earlier reported that the tournament was being shifted to the UAE.
This was after the pandemic forced the postponement of IPL, the second part of which is also being held in the UAE in September-October.
It was a foregone conclusion that India will find it difficult to host a 16-country tournament across nine cities with so many layers of health security concerns being there. In fact, the ICC had already started its preparations and logistics for the tournament which will be held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
The qualifying round could be held in Muscat, which will give ideal time to the pitches in UAE to freshen up after 31 remaining games of IPL are held till October 15.
Once the IPL was shifted to the UAE, it was a foregone conclusion that the T20 World Cup will move too given the looming concerns about a possible third wave of COVID-19 infection around that time.
India was ravaged by the second wave in April-May with scarcity of essential medical supplies adding to the horror that unfolded with over 4 lakh daily cases at the peak of the crisis. (with inputs from Agencies)