New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: It seems that the World T20I, which is scheduled to be held in October-November, will likely be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman like the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to the "tricky COVID-19 situation in India".

According to a report by news agency PTI, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has "internally" decided to hold the tournament in the UAE and Oman by keeping the hosting rights.

Notably, UAE was always the backup option for the BCCI to hold the ICC World T20I. However, Oman's Muscat has been added as the fourth venue to give sufficient time to the three UAE grounds -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah -- freshen up after the second half of the IPL.

"If IPL finishes by October 10, then the UAE leg of World T20 can start off in November which would give three weeks' time to the pitches to be spruced up for the global event. In the meanwhile, the first week can be held in Oman," a BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

The BCCI source told PTI that it is very difficult to predict the situation in India in October, adding that many ICC board members feel the board is trying to bide time as they take stock of the circumstances.

The source further said that many feel if the BCCI can't hold the second of the IPL in September in India then how can it hold a 16-team event in the country within a month.

"Look, everyone including BCCI brass knows that monsoon is not a good enough reason and it is COVID-19, with almost 2500 crore revenue riding on the tournament," the source told PTI.

Another "elephant in the room", the source said, is how many overseas players would like to risk coming to India for the tournament if the situation doesn't improve drastically.

"They would certainly come and play the IPL in the UAE and would be more than happy to play the T20 World Cup over there," the BCCI official told PTI.

"But one can rest assured that there would apprehensions with regards to health safety with players' families and their boards and the local cricket association would give them an update on health threat perceptions. It would be easier said than done," the official added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma