New Delhi: The T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India is being shifted to the UAE owing to the health safety concerns posed by Covid-19, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said on Monday, ending weeks of speculation surrounding the mega-event in October-November.
“We have officially intimated the ICC that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. The details are being chalked out,” Ganguly said.
“The decision was taken keeping health safety concerns of all stakeholders in mind,” he added.
The BCCI will, however, remain the hosts of the showpiece.
Asked if October 17 has been finalised as the start date of the tournament, Ganguly said: “We will be able to finalise itinerary details in some days. October 17 start hasn’t yet been finalised.”
Even an ICC spokesperson confirmed that the global body is yet to zero in on a final schedule.
The ICC, at the start of the month, had given BCCI a four-week window to decide and inform whether India could host the marquee event considering the Covid-19 situation in the country.
It was a foregone conclusion that India will find it difficult to host a 16-country tournament across nine cities with so many layers of health security concerns being there.
In fact, the ICC had already started its preparations and logistics for the tournament which will be held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
The qualifying round could be held in Muscat, which will give ideal time to the pitches in UAE to freshen up after 31 remaining games of IPL are held till October 15.
Once the IPL was shifted to the UAE, it was a foregone conclusion that the T20 World Cup will move too given the looming concerns about a possible third wave of Covid-19 infection around that time.
India is on the ‘Red List’ of countries like England and Australia and travelling could be an issue if the rules are not relaxed by then.
It is also understood that most of the member nations were comfortable playing the IPL in the UAE after multiple cases of bubble breach happened during the postponed edition in India.
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