This year’s T20 World Cup is to be moved from India to the UAE, with BCCI acknowledging that none of the participating teams will be “comfortable” to come here because a “third wave” of COVID-19 cases is expected during the event. .
While the final decision will be made in a month, but it is understood that even the Indian cricket board is worried about holding the tournament with 16 teams in October-November after the current IPL had to be stopped due to multiple cases of COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble.
PTI has learned that BCCI staff have recently held discussions with some of the most important decision-makers in the central government, and the move to the UAE has been roughly agreed. The dates of the race, which is scheduled for nine places, have not yet been finalized.
“Stopping the IPL within four weeks is an indication that it is not really safe to host a global event of this magnitude at a time when the country is struggling with its worst health crisis in 70 years,” a senior BCCI source said. , familiar with the development under conditions of anonymity.
“There is a chance that a third wave will hit the Indian coast in November. So while BCCI stays the host, the tournament is likely to move to the UAE,” he added.
Health experts warned of a third wave in India in September, according to Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.
The dire situation in India, where the daily addition of more than 3 new cases continues over the past many days, has shaken most board members and the ICC is unlikely to take a risk with the security of international cricket teams.
“You can rest assured that most of the best countries would not want to travel around India for the next six months unless the situation normalizes. Players and their families would be very careful to travel if they are in the middle of another. wave.
“So expect BCCI to agree to move the tournament to the UAE,” added another source.
he said the suspension of the IPL after a series of positive cases has made the official worry about taking more risks.
“IPL in India was a platform to prove to the world as well as to the participating countries that it is safe to host a tournament, even when the second wave reaches its peak.
“Everything was going well, but the bio bubble has already become porous. What is the guarantee that it will not happen again in October-November. Nations like Australia, England and New Zealand are almost certain that they have travel recommendations,” he argued.
One of the biggest reasons for holding the tournament in the UAE is that it can be held on three pitches – Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – and there is no air transport.
“See six IPL sites has always been a dangerous proposition when they have successfully dealt with three in the last edition,” the source said.
“In the UAE, they were all in one balloon from start to finish, while here each team traveled to three balloons. Most positive cases occurred after a balloon trip.
“Therefore, even if you reduce the number of seats from 9 to 5 in October, there will still be air travel unlike the UAE. Also, for players, they will not be mentally in a space to play in India, unless the situation drastically improves. improve, “he added.
There is a final meeting of the ICC in June, at which a final decision will be made, but keeping the tournament in India after the cancellation of the IPL seems exaggerated at this time.