As COVID-19 punctures IPL bubbles, BCCI may mull shifting T20 World Cup to UAE: Report
New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Following the indefinite suspension of IPL 2021 after the detection of several COVID-19 cases in secure bio-bubbles, the chances of India hosting the ICC T20 World Cup in October-November this year have become slim.
After a barrage of COVID-129 cases being found in the eight IPL bubbles in the last few days, a big question has emerged on how bio-bubbles for 16 national teams will be maintained.
According to a Times of India report, it is possible that the tournament will now be played in the UAE while the BCCI will continue to play the hosts. But before that, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will continue to assess the situation in India for the next two months.
“Even if the second wave of the pandemic subsides by September, there are predictions of a third wave in the last quarter of the year, and ICC is unlikely to wait till September to take a call on the host venues,” a BCCI source was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The BCCI had successfully organised the IPL 2020 at three venues in the UAE - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi - after the tournament was shifted in wake of the first wave of coronavirus in India. However, the Indian cricket board had reportedly paid Rs 90 crore to the Emirates Cricket Board apart from the expenses incurred in hosting the two-and-a-half-month long tournament.
To host the T20 World Cup amidst the COVID-19 apndemic, the BCCI had zeroed in on nine venues in the country. However, maintaining bio-secure bubbles with so much travelling involved will not be feasible, and the same has been proven in this IPL 2021.
The BCCI is already working on an action to ensure safe return on international players amid some strict travel restrictions around the world, especially after several countries have banned flights from India in wake of the second COVID-19 wave in the country.
"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021," the board said on Tuesday.
India is currently recording over 3 lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths. The explosion of cases has severely burdened the country's healthcare facilities causing an acute shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and crucial medicines.
The IPL was being staged across six venues in a caravan model where only two venues were being put to use at one go. At the time of suspension, matches were being held in Ahmedabad and Delhi and the league was due to move to Bengaluru and Kolkata next week.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta