ICC World T20 2021 set for UAE move following IPL 2021 suspension, amidst fear of COVID third wave
The Indian Premier League 2021 has been postponed following multiple bubble breaches in the bio-bubble. Meanwhile, the upcoming ICC World T20 scheduled to be held in India in October is most likely to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates amidst fear of a third wave.
The global cricket fraternity is in shock as the highly entertaining 2021 Indian Premier League has been postponed following increased bio-bubble breaches. With all the players set to return to their respective homes, it is unclear as of now when would the tournament resume and if it would be played in India or be moved to the United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, India is also slated to host the ICC World T20 2021 in October. However, if reports are to be believed, it is all set to move out of India and would be held in UAE.
According to a PTI report, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has held discussions with the central government's top decision-makers. The choice to move the competition to the gulf has almost been agreed upon.
BCCI fears that none of the participating members would be comfortable travelling in India based on the current situation. At the same time, a third wave is likely when the tournament would be played in October-November.
"The suspension of IPL within four weeks is an indicator that it's not really safe to host a global event of that magnitude at a time when the country is fighting its worst health crisis in the last 70 years. There is a chance of a third wave hitting the Indian shores in November. So, while BCCI will remain the hosts, the tournament will probably shift to the UAE," a BCCI official told PTI.
"You can be rest assured that most of the top nations wouldn't like to tour India within the next six months unless the situation comes to normalcy. The players and their families would be very wary of travelling if they are in the middle of another surge. So, expect BCCI to agree with the tournament shift to UAE, said another source.
The feasibility of hosting the tournament in the UAE is that it has three venues that involve no air travel. The ICC is supposed to meet in June, where a final decision on the same is likely to be taken. However, following the postponement of the IPL, it is improbable that a tournament of the stature of WT20, involving 16 teams, would go ahead in India, considering the present situation.
"In UAE, all of them were in one bubble from start to finish while here each team was travelling to three bubbles. Most of the positive cases emerged after bubble travel. Therefore, even if you reduce the number of venues from nine to five in October, still there will be air travel, unlike UAE. Also for players, they would not be mentally in a space to play in India unless the situation drastically improves," concluded the source.