After the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was postponed, doubts over hosting the T20 World Cup in India later this year has emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The tournament is set to be played in the month of October and November and there’s no clear picture of how the situation will be five to six months down the line. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) created a well-planned bio-security bubble for the IPL, keeping in mind their safety.
However, despite the precautionary measures, among cricketers, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy, Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha were tested positive, raising questions over the credential of the bubbles. An ICC recce team also cancelled its visit to India during the IPL in the wake of the pandemic.
It would be the UAE: BCCI GM on the T20 World Cup
Around a week ago, Dhiraj Malhotra, the general manager for game development of the BCCI, stated that the board is trying its best to organise the World Cup in India itself. He also mentioned the United Arab Emirates as an alternative venue in case the pandemic doesn’t reduce in India.
“So, I’m doing everything we can to make sure it happens (in India) … We will be doing the normal scenario, and worst-case scenario, so with all that we’re talking to the ICC at the moment,” Malhotra was quoted as saying to the BBC.
“It would be the UAE. We’re hoping again that it would be done by the BCCI. So, we’ll take the tournament there, but it’ll still be done by the BCCI,” he stated.
For the mega event, the BCCI had put forth nine venues in India, following the caravan format of the IPL. But the manager also talked about being alert and take appropriate steps.
“We have shortlisted nine venues and there is a possibility that we will have to cut down the number of venues to four or five. But yes, it would all depend on how the situation is then. As of now, we are not thinking of shifting the tournament elsewhere,” the manager added.
On May 3, the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was rescheduled after which things have gone downhill.