ICC announces potential back-up venues for T20 World Cup 2021

ICC announces potential back-up venues for T20 World Cup 2021

Identifying potential back-up venues is standard practice for every ICC tournament but this time it holds special significance because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

T20 World Cup trophy
T20 World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Earlier this month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had given the rights of hosting the T20 World Cup 2021 to India as scheduled in the original Future Tours Programme while Australia will host this year’s postponed edition in 2022. Though Cricket Australia was keen on hosting the next year’s edition of T20 World Cup, it later backed out claiming that they may not receive permissions for the government owing to the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus in the country.

Sri Lanka and the UAE are among the back-up venues for the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup, should the Covid-19 pandemic make India an untenable host. Identifying potential back-up venues is standard practice for every ICC tournament but this time it holds special significance because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It can be the case that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to shift the tournament outside the country just like the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League which is scheduled from September 19 to November 10 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. India is currently the third-worst-hit country in the world in terms of cases with over two million cases so far and over 45,000 deaths. Also, the country has been registering almost 50,000+ new Covid-19 cases daily.

We’d sold hundreds of thousands of tickets for this [2020] World Cup: Nick Hockley

Though earlier it was speculated that Australia will host the 2021 edition of T20 World Cup while India will have to host back-to-back two ICC tournaments, T20 World Cup 2022 and World Cup 2023. However, the ICC had to decide otherwise after CA backed out from hosting the 2021 edition. Also, the BCCI was firm about hosting the 2021 T20 World Cup instead of 2022 because it does not want to host three big tournaments (including the 2023 IPL and the 2023 World Cup) consecutively.

Speaking about the change in schedule, CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said that they feel hosting the tournament in 2022 will be more beneficial from an economic point of view as by then hopefully things would return to normal.

“We’d sold hundreds of thousands of tickets for this [2020] World Cup coming up in October and November. From a cricket sense, we’ve got incredible communities and supporters for all the competition nations,” Hockley said on Saturday as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

“In terms of hosting in 2022 we’re all acutely aware of the challenges at the moment with hosting, travel restrictions and the like. So in many ways 2022 gives us an even better chance of putting on the event we all originally planned for and were hoping for. We hope by 2022 that the world’s back and we’ve got some normalcy and I think it’ll be a fantastic event,” he added.