While the IPL 2021 is being played in a bio-bubble secure despite calls from various quarters questioning the running of the league aid India’s grave covid-19 situation, fate of other big-ticket events in the country slated for this year hangs in a balance. One of the major attraction for India this year is the T20 World Cup slated for October-November this year, but with the worsening situation in India owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and with travel restrictions imposed by various countries, to and from, India, the event organisers have been forced to look for options to host the event.
And the frontrunner for hosting the event if India is not a position to is the UAE, which hosted the 2020 edition of the IPL when India was reeling under the first wave of virus. “It’s too early to say what will happen. But the contingency plan is that it would go to UAE with the hosting rights staying with BCCI,” Dhiraj Malhotra, GM, BCCI and the tournament director of the World Cup told Hindustan Times. While BCCI would retain the hosting right, the UAE will benefit from hosting the big event.
Before the second wave hit India, BCCI had zeroed in venues for the T20 World Cup. Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Dharamsala, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. “The nine venues have been informed and it was again discussed that preparations should continue for the showpiece event with an eye on the Covid-19 situation and a call will only be taken closer to the event. It is too early to imagine what can or will happen in October-November with regards to the coronavirus situation. But preparations shall be on,” a BCCI source had told ANI a fortnight back.
The T20 World Cup will feature 16 teams and with no timeline on when the situation in India is likely to improve, logistically it will get tough with each passing day to arrange travel and stay for a huge contingent of players and staff by September – roughly a month before the start of the tournament – four months out to start of T20 World Cup.
Earlier, a few reports had mentioned that Sri Lanka is also looked at as a potential alternate country for hosting the event after a huge surge in covid-19 cases and related deaths in the country.
On Friday, India reported 3,86,452 new Covid-19 cases, 3498 deaths, and 2,97,540 discharges in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry. Senior Advocate and eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee passed away due to Covid-19. He served as the Attorney General for India twice and was in the legal profession for nearly seven decades.