T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman, cricket council confirms
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Tuesday that the T20 World Cup will be staged in the UAE and Oman later this year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will continue to host the tournament from 17 October to 14 November 2021 in the Gulf states after relocating the event from India due to concerns about Covid-19 outbreaks.
ICC Acting CEO Geoff Allardice said their "priority" was to deliver games "safely".
"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 bio-secure environment," said Allardice.
Games will take place in Dubai International Stadium, Sharjah Stadium in Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.
Oman's Cricket Chairman Pankaj Khimji called the decision "a great moment for Oman Cricket".
Khimji said in the statement: “We shall leave no stone unturned to exceed the requirements of BCCI and ICC.”
The BCCI’s president Sourav Ganguly said “we would have been happier hosting it in India" but added that the BCCI was "looking forward" to the games in the UAE and Oman.
🚨 NEWS 🚨: BCCI to host ICC T20 World Cup in UAE & Oman— BCCI (@BCCI) June 29, 2021
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Ganguly acknowledged that the "uncertainty" caused by Covid-19 outbreaks in India played an important part in the decision.
India experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases earlier this year, with confirmed cases exceeding 2 million in May 2021 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Cases have steadily decreased since then. However - as of 21 June - there were still over 350,000 confirmed cases in the country according to WHO, many of which are the more transmissible Delta variant.
The ICC gave India a deadline of 28June to decide whether to host the tournament given the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Before this, Australia was scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in 2020, but the pandemic disrupted global cricket and India were given hosting rights instead for 2021.