T20 World Cup moved away from India to UAE and Oman due to Covid

The International Cricket Council has moved the Twenty20 World Cup from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman because of the pandemic.

India will remain the host of the event scheduled from 17 October to 14 November, the ICC said in a statement.

The global governing body gave India until Monday to finalise the venue after its inspection team had to cancel the trip to India in April due to a rise in coronavirus cases. India remains stricken by the virus.

The tournament was originally scheduled for Australia last year, but it was delayed to this year due to the pandemic and given to India. But India’s ability to host was put in doubt in May when the Indian Premier League was postponed after several players tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The venue for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 has been shifted to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, with the tournament set to run from 17 October to 14 November,” the ICC statement read.

“The tournament was originally set to be staged in India, but had to be shifted, given the consequences of the second wave of Covid-19 on the country.

“The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held across four venues – Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.”

The first round of the tournament will see Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman and Papua New Guinea contest four places in the Super 12 stage, when the top eight-ranked nations will enter.

Acting ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said the priority was to deliver a safe tournament in full.

“Whilst we are incredibly disappointed not to be hosting the event in India, the decision gives us the certainty we need to stage the event in a country that is a proven international host of multi-team events in a biosecure environment,” Allardice said.

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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is president of the BCCI, said it was looking forward to hosting the tournament in UAE and Oman.

“We would have been happier hosting it in India but considering the uncertainty due to the Covid-19 situation and the importance of a world championship, the BCCI will now continue to host this tournament in UAE and Oman. The BCCI is looking forward to creating a spectacle.”

The West Indies are the defending world champions after beating England in 2016. Australia have never won the tournament – the best finish being a second-place finish in 2010 after going down to England.


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