BCCI mulls moving T20 World Cup to UAE in ‘worst-case scenario’

As India battles a raging Covid-19 pandemic, the BCCI is making ready for the “worst case scenario” of moving the 2021 males’s T20 World Cup to the UAE. The marquee occasion, comprising 16 international locations, is scheduled to happen in India between October and November this 12 months, with the ultimate on November 14.

“I hope so. I am doing everything we can to make sure that it happens,” Dhiraj Malhotra, the event director for the T20 World Cup, mentioned on the BBC’s Stumped podcast this week. “We will be doing normal scenario, Covid-scenario, worst case scenario. All that we are in talks with the ICC at the moment.”

The file surge in the Covid infections in the nation not too long ago, together with a mounting loss of life rely, has prompted the cricket fraternity to begin asking whether or not India might be match to host the World Cup which is lower than six months away.

According to Malhotra, who took cost this February as BCCI’s normal supervisor of cricket operations and sport improvement, the Indian board had plans to “take” the T20 World Cup to the UAE as a contingency measure if the ICC discovered India to be unsafe. “It would be (the) UAE. And we are hoping it will again be done by BCCI – we will take the tournament there. So it will be still run by BCCI.”

Recently, the BCCI proposed to the ICC 9 venues throughout India to stage the T20 World Cup: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. Ahmedabad, which homes the world’s largest cricket stadium, was slotted in for the ultimate.

The BCCI is utilizing the two-venue caravan mannequin in play throughout the 2021 IPL as a dry run to decide whether or not the identical could be replicated for the World Cup, which would be the first multi-team world occasion staged by the ICC after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic in 2020. An ICC staff together with consultants from the occasions, safety and biosafety departments, was scheduled to arrive in India to examine the venues and plans, however that plan had to be shelved with the UAE banning journey to India not too long ago.

Malhotra identified that at present the BCCI was nonetheless going forward with the unique plan of India internet hosting the event. “As of now we are looking at ticket sales, people travelling from all over the world, but again we don’t know what the situation would be at that point of time.”

Speaking to Indian media businesses on April 7, two days earlier than the beginning of the IPL, Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s interim chief government officer, mentioned that though there have been back-up plans in place, the worldwide physique had not “activated those plans” and was “preparing to go ahead with the event in India as scheduled.”

Since then although, the scenario in India has grow to be grim by the day. As per Covid-19 information logged on Friday morning by the US-based John Hopkins University, India has reported over 18 million Covid-19 constructive instances (second behind the USA) and is quick moving to grow to be the third on the listing of most deaths globally with the present rely over 208,000.

Consequently, international locations have banned flights to and from India in addition to stiffening their quarantine protocols for vacationers coming into the nation. That transfer prompted 4 abroad gamers from two IPL franchises to return dwelling whereas additionally leaving a number of extra uneasy.

Bond – ‘Extra funding’ vital to have T20 World Cup in India

One of these feeling uneasy is former New Zealand quick bowler Shane Bond, who’s the bowling coach with defending champions Mumbai Indians. “That is the biggest stress for all of us who are over here is how to get home,” Bond mentioned from Delhi on Friday throughout a digital media briefing, organised by the Sydney Thunder, the BBL franchise the place he was stepping down as head coach.

“There’s no doubt from my perspective, that’s the only thing that keeps you awake at night is thinking: am I going to be able to get in and what are the rulings of the government. But the other is, what you don’t want to be doing is, sitting around all day talking about that stuff because that just wears you down.”

Asked in regards to the feasibility of India internet hosting the T20 World Cup, Bond mentioned it might be “certainly challenging” in contrast to internet hosting the IPL. “There’s no doubt about that. The uniqueness of obviously having something that is privately owned (franchise) is we have our own hotel, we have net bowlers and all the little things that are helping you as a cricket team taken care of. I know when I have been to ICC tournaments the numbers are limited to 23, so if you are carrying only those sorts of numbers and there’s challenges getting in and out of the country then it is going to make it pretty tough.”

Recently the ICC agreed to improve the squad strength to 30 for the T20 World Cup and the ladies’s ODI World Cup (scheduled in New Zealand in 2022) to assist groups use further gamers and training employees as cowl throughout the pandemic. Bond remained assured that the India might nonetheless host the T20 World Cup if the organisers put in some further measures to create a safe bubble just like the IPL mannequin.

“The only way I can see that happening or making it easier to happen is just extra funding. It just comes down to the level of security in the bubble and the extra staff that you might be able to carry here. If you can do that there’s no doubt….in this completion (IPL) the bubble is pretty strong, our one (Mumbai) is outstanding.

“The different factor is in six months’ time issues may look drastically completely different due to the vaccinations or lockdowns which might be happening. I’m certain there shall be contingencies put in place by the BCCI and the Indian authorities however there’s nonetheless a great distance to go earlier than the World Cup is held.”

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