“It was not an easy decision"
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the 2021 T20 World Cup will go ahead.
The tournament will take place in the UAE and Oman in October and November 2021.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah say they made their decision based on Covid-19 concerns.
They believe that, although India’s vaccination rollout is increasing dramatically, a third wave of the virus remains a possibility.
Therefore, having India host the 2021 T20 World Cup is too much of a risk.
The board also had a general body meeting on May 29, 2021. The meeting informed members of the option of hosting the T20 World Cup abroad.
Ganguly and Shah discussed the possibility of the World Cup in a series of official emails.
In one email, Sourav Ganguly said:
“It was not an easy decision and we mulled over it for months, constantly keeping an eye on the Covid-19 situation all along.
“However, with the second wave causing such devastation, the decision ultimately boiled down to the safety and well-being of the players and organisers.
“Although vaccination in the country is going on at breakneck speed, there are reports of a third wave and different variants, which we just cannot ignore.”
In another email about the general body meeting, Jay Shah wrote:
“We wanted to apprise you that we have discussed this issue with ICC and have had several rounds of discussions internally.
“After much deliberation, it has been decided that safety of players and other stakeholders is of paramount importance and keeping that in mind, it is best that we shift the ICC T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates.
“There is nothing more that we could have wanted than to host this prestigious tournament in India, but it was not to be.”
The BCCI suspended the IPL with immediate effect in May 2021.
The suspension came amid India’s crippling Covid-19 crisis, which saw multiple positive cases within the tournament’s bio-bubbles.
The board sent out a press release on May 4, 2021, to confirm the news. Part of the press release read:
“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL.
“The decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.”