The ICC Men’s T20I WC is likely to shift to the United Arab Emirates as India is reeling under the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has internally intimated the International Cricket Council (ICC) to move ahead with the preparations for the prestigious tournament.
The COVID-19 situation in India and the tax quandary has put the cricket governing body in a fix. However, the BCCI, having the hosting rights, is bent on conducting the tournament in India. Due to this, they asked for the deadline of June 28 to give their final decision. Although there are chances that BCCI may avert the tournament from moving to UAE, there is a rather high likelihood of the Men’s T20I WC to take place in the Emirates.
“The intent is to make sincere efforts to have it in India, but if the COVID-19 pandemic and the tax issue isn’t resolved, we might have to possibly move the tournament out even though we shall have the hosting rights,” a BCCI official told news agency ANI.
Four venues for the 16-team tournament to be held in the October-November window has been shortlisted. These include Oman’s Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Officials are in favour of conducting the preliminary rounds in Oman so as to give the UAE ample time for preparation for the matches after completing the remainder of IPL 2021.
“Yes, the BCCI, during the ICC board meeting, has formally asked for a four-week window to take a final call but, internally, they have said that they would like to keep the hosting rights and wouldn’t mind the tournament being held in UAE and Oman,” a senior board official of ICC in the know of developments told PTI.
“If IPL finishes by 10 October, then the UAE leg of World T20 can start off in November which would give three weeks time to the pitches to be spruced up for the global event. In the meanwhile, the first week can be held in Oman,” he added.
MadOverCricket undersatnds that given the unpredictable situation of the pandemic, the ICC officials are not relying on the fact that BCCI will be able to conduct the tournament in India.
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