ICC World T20 2021 set to be moved to UAE and Oman: Reports
The 2021 ICC World T20 would be the seventh edition of the prestigious Twenty20 global competition. Although it was scheduled to be held in India, the prevailing COVID situation in the country has compelled it to be moved to UAE and Oman.
The much-awaited ICC World T20 2021 is all set to be moved to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The 16-team global Twenty20 event, which was set to be held in India this year, cannot be conducted in the nation owing to the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
In UAE, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah would be the venues for the tournaments. Meanwhile, Muscat would be the fourth venue, while it would be the first time that Oman would be hosting a global ICC tournament.
The International Cricket Council is expected to make an official announcement regarding the same soon. However, it is to be noted that the Board of Control for Cricket in India still retains the hosting rights. "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 BCCI official told PTI.
"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 added.
As for the WT20, the initial one week could see all the matches being played in Muscat. It is because that the pitches in UAE would need at least three weeks after IPL 2021 to be ready for a global competition like WT20.
Muscat's Al Amerat Cricket Stadium has already been recognised by ICC and has T20 and One-Day International status. It recently also earned Test status, with ICC giving accreditation for Ministry Turf 1. The ground possesses floodlights and has been hosting lower-division ICC matches since 2012, while the venue is 15-20 km from the airport. Nonetheless, the seating capacity of the ground remains uncertain as the stands are yet to be built.
Meanwhile, Oman has already been approached by ICC over the matter, while talks are on with the BCCI. "We have been approached by ICC and the chairman of Oman Cricket, Pankaj Khimji, is in talks with the BCCI, which is due to host the tournament. The talks with BCCI have just started. The ICC asked us for certain things that they are looking at in a hosting venue and we have given them the details. We have told them that we are ready. We have two turf pitch grounds, including one with floodlights," said Oman Cricket secretary Madhu Jesrani to IANS.
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