The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given a firm deadline to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its board meeting on Tuesday (June 1) to decide whether the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 can be hosted in India. If the COVID-19 situation in the country forces BCCI to shift the tournament out of India, then UAE and Muscat are the likely venues.
“The BCCI has time till June 28 to host the World Cup in India. If not, we will host the tournament in the UAE. But the BCCI will have the hosting rights,” BCCI President Sourav Ganguly told Sportstar.
“In case the tournament is shifted to the UAE, then we are adding up another venue. They are thinking about whether there should be three or four venues,” Ganguly added.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will be hosting the matches if UAE is selected, while a final decision on whether Muscat - which has earlier hosted ICC events - will be taken in due course of time. BCCI will retain their hosting rights irrespective of where the event is played.
Based on BCCI’s response, the world body will finalise the venue. “A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month. The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played," the ICC said in a statement on Tuesday.
BCCI now has four weeks to decide whether India can host the T20 World Cup for the second time running. The COVID-19 situation has improved drastically in India recently, but still remains largely unpredictable with a third wave of infections predicted by experts around the same time as the tournament.
BCCI has also reportedly informed the ICC that a tax waiver of approximately INR 900 crore for the tournament is being discussed with the Indian government.
Ganguly is now set to travel to UAE on Wednesday to discuss hosting of remainder of IPL 2021 with the Emirates Cricket Board. There is no clarity about the availability of foreign players from several nations for the 31 matches to be played sometime in September-October, but the BCCI chief said they 'will go ahead' with whoever is available.
(With Sportstar inputs)