According to sources, United Arab Emirates (UAE) will likely be the new venue for the upcoming World T20 as the situation in India continues to worsen. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been in discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board, and the final decision regarding the matter will be taken within the next two weeks.
ICC and BCCI are in agreement that India cannot host the tournament due to the COVID-19 crisis in the country. India’s premier T20 tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), has also been postponed indefinitely after a surge in the COVID-19 cases within various franchises.
The World T20 is scheduled to be played in October, and it seems highly unlikely that the situation in India will improve considerably. Hence the authorities are inclined towards shifting the tournament to a new location, with UAE seen as the most viable option.
According to a source, “The ICC is in contact with the Emirates Cricket Board regarding hosting of the ICC World T20 in the UAE, and we can say that almost 80 to 90 percent of the matter has been discussed and issues sorted out.”
“Now the ICC and the BCCI are in [the] final stage of discussion about shifting the mega event to the UAE, and an announcement to this effect is likely to be made in the next two weeks,” the source added.
The previous World T20, which was scheduled to be held in Australia last year, was postponed to 2022 due to the global pandemic, but it is highly unlikely that ICC will postpone this year’s mega-event as well.