The marquee T20 World Cup in October-November is set to be shifted to the UAE and Oman with the BCCI having internally intimated the ICC to go ahead with its preparation due to a tricky Covid-19 situation in India.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has said that the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE due to the Covid-19 situation in India. Last month, BCCI had announced that the remaining season of IPL2021 will be conducted in UAE due to the monsoon season in India in September-October.
However, BCCI had also sought more time from the ICC before taking a final call on whether India will remain the host country for the T20 World Cup. As of now, the marquee event is to be held in the country in October-November. While the UAE was always the first backup option, Oman’s capital Muscat has been added as the fourth venue, apart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, for the tournament that will start in the last week of October.
He said that Muscat has been zeroed in specifically for the preliminary rounds of the 16-team competition, which will also allow the three UAE grounds to get sufficient time to freshen up after 31 IPL games.
“If IPL finishes by 10 October, then the UAE leg of World T20 can start off in November which would give three weeks” time for the pitches to be spruced up for the global event. In the meanwhile, the first week can be held in Oman,” he said.
Both IPL and PSL were suspended midway through the season after coronavirus breached their bio-secure bubbles with several players and match officials beginning to test positive. However, the organisers of both the leagues have managed to find a window and venue to hold the remaining matches in UAE.
Another “elephant in the room” is how many overseas players would like to risk coming to India for the tournament if the situation doesn’t improve drastically.
“They would certainly come and play the IPL in the UAE and would be more than happy to play the T20 World Cup over there.
“But one can rest assured that there would apprehensions with regards to health safety with players” families and their boards and the local cricket association would give them an update on health threat perceptions. It would be easier said than done,” the official said.