The 2021 T20 World Cup will be played in the UAE and Oman in October and November, confirmed the Indian cricket board. In official emails to its affiliated units, board president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah explained that the decision was made due to concerns over the third wave of the pandemic.
“It was not an easy decision and we mulled over it for months, constantly keeping an eye on the COVID situation all along, However, with the second wave causing such devastation, the decision ultimately boiled down to the safety and well-being of the players and organisers. Although, vaccination in the country is going on at breakneck speed, there are reports of a third wave and different variants, which we just cannot ignore,” Ganguly wrote in his email.
The Indian board had conducted a special general body meeting on May 29 where members were informed about the option of hosting the T20 World Cup abroad.
“We wanted to apprise you that we have discussed this issue with ICC and have had several rounds of discussions internally. After much deliberation, it has been decided that safety of players and other stakeholders is of paramount importance and keeping that in mind, it is best that we shift the ICC T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates … There is nothing more that we could have wanted than to host this prestigious tournament in India, but it was not to be,” Shah wrote in the mail.
The board is yet to announce the fixtures for the suspended Indian Premier League while it will chalk out the schedule for the T20 World Cup in consultation with the International Cricket Council.