The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be staged in the UAE and Oman due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in India.
The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held in Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, from October 17 to November 14, 2021.
The first round of the tournament, comprising the eight qualifying teams, will now be split between Oman and UAE. Four of these teams will then progress to the Super 12s round where they’ll join the eight automatic qualifiers.
The upcoming edition will be the first Men’s T20 World Cup played since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in India. The eight teams competing in the preliminary stage are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea, before the play-off stage and the Final on November 14.
“Our priority is to deliver the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 safely, in full and in its current window,” said acting ICC CEO Geoff Allardice in a release. “Whilst we are incredibly disappointed not to be hosting the event in India, 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. We will work closely with the BCCI, the Emirates Cricket Board, and Oman Cricket to ensure fans can enjoy a wonderful celebration of cricket.”
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said: “The BCCI made every effort to stage the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India and provide its passionate fans with a reason to cheer after a long period of gloom. However, the prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned was fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature are held across the country. The BCCI will continue to host the tournament, which will now be held in the UAE and Oman and work closely with the ICC to make it a memorable event.”
“The BCCI is looking forward to hosting the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 tournament in UAE and Oman,” added BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. “We would have been happier hosting it in India but considering the uncertainty due to the Covid 19 situation and the importance of a world championship, the BCCI will now continue to host this tournament in UAE and Oman. The BCCI is looking forward to creating a spectacle.”