Before it took a final call on not holding the 2021 T20 World Cup in India, BCCI mulled over various options including limiting the mega event to just three cities in the country. However, the potential complications resulted in it ultimately doing what was long speculated.
According to news agency PTI, BCCI was thinking of organising the matches in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad with Narendra Modi Stadium also playing host to the final.
“Pakistan playing in Mumbai or Pune would have always been an issue. So there were multiple factors," the news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying.
Additionally, should players contract coronavirus, the stronger teams would have ready replacement but the weaker sides may struggle should five-six of their cricketers get infected.
“In IPL, multiple players got infected by COVID-19, you can have good replacements. But what about the weaker teams? What if they lose five or six top players? They won’t have ready replacements," the source reasoned.
With BCCI already deciding that the remainder of IPL 2021 will be held in UAE, it was all but clear that a marquee event like the T20 World Cup, which would see participation of much more teams than the league, cannot be organised within India either.
“If the BCCI is unable to host an eight-team IPL in September, how could it have hosted World T20 within a month? Also now we have a new variant (Delta 3) and there is every possibility of a third wave in the country in October. The BCCI brass was always well aware that it won’t be practically feasible," an ICC board member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Travelling to India would also have become potential hurdle since countries like Enland and Australia have put it on ‘Red List’ due to the coronavirus situation. Also, several teams were seemingly comfortable travelling to UAE which hosted the entire IPL 2020.
The Indian team along with its white-ball stars, will reach Dubai from Manchester on September 15 via a charter flight to take part in the IPL. It will be based there for close to two months till the second week of November when the T20 World Cup ends.
With PTI inputs