T20 World Cup: UAE is Backup Option to India

Rising Covid-19 cases a concern

India Cricket Fans

The T20 World Cup could be held in the United Arab Emirates if India is unable to host this year’s event.

Rising Covid-19 cases in India may prevent the country from staging the 2021 tournament as planned.

It is due to get underway in October with 16 nations competing for the title.

Organisers are still determined to hold it in India but have the UAE is a backup option if the pandemic continues to worsen.

Some countries, including the UK and Australia, have already chosen to shut their borders to India as new daily cases reached the 300,000 mark.

Dhiraj Malhotra, the BCCI’s general manager for game development, confirmed the UAE contingency plan when speaking to the BBC’s Stumped podcast.

He said: “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.”

India Still Priority Location

However, Malhotra also underlined the work being done to make sure it stays in India as the main priority.

He added: “I've just been named one of the tournament directors, so I'm doing everything we can to make sure it happens.

“We will be doing normal scenario, and worst-case scenario, so with all that we're talking to the ICC at the moment.”

Australia saw their T20 World Cup postponed because of the pandemic and will now hold the 2022 tournament instead.

Despite ongoing concerns over this year’s T20 World Cup, India is currently hosting the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.

The final is set to take place on May 30 and all teams are working from bio-secure bubbles to make it possible.

A number of players have recently chosen to leave the competition because of Covid concerns and travel implications.

Australia trio Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa have all headed home, while Indian spinner Ravichandran Aswin has elected for a break to see family.

However, Malhotra said the BCCI will continue to listen to “common sentiment” on if the tournament continues.

“There's not been any clear implication of any clear directive that it is bad to host the IPL, or good to host the IPL,” Malhotra added.

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