BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla has said that the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus situation in India forced the cricket board to shift the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to United Arab Emirates. On Monday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the board has officially informed ICC that the marquee event can be shifted to UAE.
However, the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event.
“As far as T20 World Cup is concerned, today (June 28) was the deadline as we had to inform the ICC about our decision so today there was a conference call between BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Secretary Jay Shah, Treasurer Arun Dhumal, me and the Joint Secretary," Shukla told news agency ANI on Monday.
He continued, “We looked at the COVID-19 situation and nobody is sure what is going to happen after two-three months, looking at everything, it has been decided that Secretary Jay Shah and President Ganguly will inform the ICC to move the tournament to the UAE."
Shukla also termed UAE is an ideal venue after India and said considering the scale of the T20 World Cup, BCCI took the decision.
“UAE is an ideal venue after India. We all wanted to host it in India, but you know it is an international tournament and that too of big size, so it was very hard to predict what is going to happen with the COVID situation, after due consideration, now the BCCI has decided to move the T20 World Cup to the UAE," he said.
Dates Unchanged, Qualifiers in Oman and Muscat
Shukla also said that the dates for the event remain unchanged and will start from October 17, two days after the IPL 2021 final. He added that Oman and Muscat could play host to the qualifying matches.
“The dates are going to be the same, immediately after the IPL, the tournament will start. The format for the World Cup has already been decided by the ICC, qualifiers may take place in Oman and Muscat. The rest of the matches will be in the three grounds — Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah," he said.