May 11, 2021

Sports Legend

Pandemic-stricken India Says UAE is Plan B for T20 World Cup

This year’s Twenty20 World Cup could be moved to the United Arab Emirates if the COVID-19 crisis does not abate in India, the country’s cricket committee has said.

Six months before the show’s scheduled start, India reported a record 386,452 new cases on Friday, although medical experts believe the actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher.

The ruling International Cricket Council (ICC) said this month that it was sticking to hosting the event in India but had plans to back it up, without specifying another venue.

“It would be the UAE,” Cricket Control Board of India (BCCI) chief executive Dhiraj Malhotra told the BBC on Thursday.

“… We will be hosting the tournament there, but it will always be done by the BCCI,” added Malhotra, also tournament director.

He did not respond to Reuters calls and messages to be clarified, but an ICC spokesperson confirmed the plan.

The governing body is monitoring the progress of the Indian Premier League, which continues amid the outbreak. “It is too early to make a call,” the spokesperson told Reuters.

The pandemic forced India’s board of directors to hold last year’s IPL in the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, the BCCI signed a hosting agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). The ECB declined to comment on its preparation when contacted by Reuters.