Following the Indian Premier League (IPL), the BCCI may be expected to shift the T20 World Cup 2021 to the United Arab Emirates.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah stated to ANI on Saturday that the T20 World Cup may have to be moved from India to the UAE.
"Due to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we may shift the tournament to UAE. We are monitoring the situation closely, the health and safety of players are paramount we will take a final call soon," Jay Shah told ANI.
The T20 World Cup will most likely begin on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates, with the final on November 14.
In its next meeting, the Indian cricket board will inform the International Cricket Council (ICC) of its decision to move the 16-nation competition to the UAE.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in India, with over 3.1 crore cases reported so far. In 2020-21, the COVID-19 numbers had stabilised, but single-day counts began to rise in April and May. During the second wave of COVID-19, the country recorded nearly 4 lakh cases every day. Although the situation has stabilised, the threat of a third wave cannot be disregarded.
Last year, the T20 World Cup was supposed to be held in India. COVID-19 forced the competition to be postponed. The ICC tournament was scheduled to take place in Australia in 2021, but India was awarded the hosting rights. The t20 competition will be held in Australia next year. Even if the event is held in the United Arab Emirates, India will hold the hosting rights. Although the UAE hosted the Asia Cup in 2018, the BCCI retained the hosting rights.
According to reports, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) would also be finished in the UAE. The IPL will begin on September 19, and the final will take place on October 15.
Some IPL franchises are intending to send representatives to the UAE after July 6 to finalise logistics while adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.
An official from one of the franchisees told ANI that it is critical to fly to the UAE because the situation is a little different as compared to the 2020 edition, and bulk bookings may be a problem given that borders would be open for transportation.
"We are looking at heading to the UAE post-July 6 once we get the go-ahead from the BCCI and the government so that we can seal the logistical deals. Unlike last year, bulk bookings won't be as easy this year as you will have people travelling into the country and that makes the work around bio-bubbles all the more critical," the official explained.
Also, the BCCI stated in a press release a few weeks ago that the decision to move the IPL to the UAE, which was postponed in early May at the midway point, was due to the "monsoon season in India," which typically runs from June to early October.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year," the BCCI mentioned.
Meanwhile, according to ESPNcricinfo, the T20 World Cup 2021 will most likely begin two days after the IPL 2021 final. The ICC event's summit clash is expected to take place on November 14. The schedule for the second phase of the IPL 2021 has yet to be announced by the BCCI.
The T20 World Cup's first round will be held in the UAE and Oman, and will include eight lower-ranked teams, four of whom will join the top eight teams for the Super 12 stage.
With inputs from ANI