The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body of the sport in India, has revealed that it has kept UAE as a backup option for the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup considering the deadly wave of coronavirus wreaking havoc in the country, reported cricket portal Espncricinfo.
“I hope so. I am doing everything we can to make sure that it happens,” said Dhiraj Malhotra, the tournament director for the T20 World Cup, on the BBC’s Stumped podcast this week.
“We will be doing the normal scenario, COVID-scenario, worst-case scenario. All that we are in talks with the ICC at the moment,” said the official.
The World Cup tournament, comprising 16 teams, is scheduled to take place in India between October and November this year, with the final on November 14.
Malhotra, who became BCCI’s general manager of cricket operations and game development this February, said that the Indian board had plans to move the World Cup to the UAE as a contingency plan if ICC deemed the country to be unsafe.
“It would be (the) UAE. And we are hoping it will again be done by BCCI – we will take the tournament there. So it will be still run by BCCI,” said the BCCI GM.
The alarming surge in coronavirus cases in India has raised concerns amid the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding the possibility of holding the T20 Worldcup in the virus-hit country.
Sources confirmed that the ICC is “deeply concerned over the mushrooming coronavirus cases in India,” therefore, the international cricket governing body has decided to take a closer look at the virus situation of the country.
ICC aims to be fully satisfied with the conduct of the T20 World Cup as it believes that the health and safety of teams and other stakeholders, including broadcasters, cannot be compromised.
The ICC delegation will visit India in the next few days, but in the current situation, going to India is also being considered a challenge for the delegation itself.
The ICC is also set to review India’s nine proposed venues for the World Cup. The council will make the final decision on the venues after reviewing them.—AFP