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Covid-19 pandemic concerns compelling ICC to rethink shifting the T20 World Cup venue to UAE

The Covid-19 outbreak in India is very fragile. Three and a half million people are being infected with Covid-19 every day. Almost 2,000-2,500 people are dying every day. Meanwhile, the country’s franchise T20 tournament IPL 2021 is underway. Criticism is not less around. Many have questioned why the IPL is going on amid this death procession. However, the authorities are adamant in their decision to continue the IPL, putting aside all criticism. The IPL is rolling on the field, now the question arises about the staging of the T20 World Cup.

Due to the Covid-19, the spectators will not be able to enter the fields, and the absence of the spectators means that the tournament has faded a bit. If there is no excitement in the gallery, there is so much life in the battle of bat-ball. Business of ticket-selling and others will also be affected if visitors can’t enter the grounds. Though the T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held in Australia in October last year, it was postponed due to these reasons.

Australia is one of the few countries in the world to control Covid-19 at the moment. Last October, although the picture was not like this at all. But the Covid-19 infection in India is a few times worse than it was in Australia last October or a few months ago. In the end, there are doubts about whether the World Cup will be held in India or not.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been mentioned as an alternative venue for India. According to an Australian daily, the ICC is also considering alternatives to the T20 World Cup in India. According to the Australian newspaper, if the Covid-19 situation in India does not improve soon, the ICC is considering hosting the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India from 18th October to 15th November. The World Cup is still six months away. That is why the BCCI, India’s governing body for cricket, is now reluctant to cancel its World Cup plans. The BCCI has agreed to accept the World Cup as an alternative in the UAE. Dhiraj Malhotra, general manager of the organization and director of the World Cup tournament, told the media, “It is not yet time to say what will happen. However, the alternative plan is to hold the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but the BCCI will have the right to host it there as well.”

Before the second wave of Covid-19 in India, the BCCI had selected Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Dharmasala, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow as the 9 venues for the World Cup. But as Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly, the BCCI has no option left other than to wait. The Covid-19 infection and death rate should at least come under control, the foreign countries should lift the ongoing travel ban on India to prevent Covid-19, and BCCI has to wait until these things happen.

However, according to Indian media, the idea so far is that India wants to host the World Cup in a stadium without spectators before moving on to any other alternative proposal.

There are 16 teams in this year’s T20 World Cup. Each team will announce their squad a month before the World Cup. There are 4 international stadiums in the United Arab Emirates, which is being considered as an alternative to the World Cup in India. The UAE World Cup option will be implemented only if the need arises. The UAE has gained a good reputation for hosting major tournaments. Last season’s IPL has been hosted there amidst the Covid-19 epidemic. Besides, Pakistan has been hosting their home matches in the UAE for many years.

The ICC T20 World Cup is going to take place after a long time. For more updates on it, keep an eye on Baji!


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