Kolkata: Showpiece event T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in October-November is set to be shifted to the UAE and Oman in the light of the Covid crisis still raging the country. It is learnt that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has internally informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) to plan the event in UAE and Oman.
The UAE has always been the first backup option, Oman capital Muscat has been added as the fourth venue. The other three venues are Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The tournament will begin in the last week of October.
“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 was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on the condition of anonymity.
According to him, Muscat has been finalised specifically for the preliminary rounds of the 16-team tourney. This is aimed at allowing the three UAE grounds to get sufficient time to freshen up after 31 IPL games, also to be staged there.
“If IPL finishes by October 10, 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,” the official said.
A majority among the ICC board members are of the belief that India is trying to bide time as they take stock of the situation at a time when predictions are the last thing to do.
“If you think about it practically, India is now reporting around 120,000 plus cases which is close to one third of what was being reported at the end of April and start of this month. But sitting on June 28, if you say “yes” to holding the World T20 in India, how can you predict the health situation in October if there is a third wave,” he asked.