ICC T20 World Cup 2021: BCCI mulling over caravan format; UAE as standby venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: BCCI mulling over caravan format; UAE as standby venue

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is closely monitoring the situation around the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) logo. (Photo by Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint via Getty Images)

It is learned that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is closely monitoring the situation around the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. Battling an intense wave of COVID-19, India has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in the coronavirus caseload and death toll in the past month. As per official records, the nation hit new records for a fifth straight day, recording over 3.52 lakh Covid-19 cases and 2,812 deaths in a single day yesterday.

The dreary surge in the number of positive patients has overloaded the nation’s health infrastructure, which is plagued by a shortage of medical oxygen to treat critical patients and provide beds to many needy. The jitters of it have reached the top office of cricket, which is already witnessing overseas players’ exits amidst growing tensions and paranoiac environment in the nation.

Given that India is slated to be the host of the multi-country tournament in October-November this year, the challenge to ensure the players’ security and avoiding any mishap will be immense. Even as the BCCI has managed to hold the IPL in a close-knit bio-secure bubble where no one has returned a positive test thus far, some of the overseas players have cited the bubble to be “vulnerable”.

BCCI mulling over caravan model for the T20 World Cup

The current COVID-19 situation in India has sparked the rumors of shifting the T20 World Cup 2021 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the ICC is “closely monitoring” the situation in the country and even put up UAE as a standby option for the event to be held later this year.

As per other reports, Sri Lanka is also seen as an alternative option to India with ICC in regular contact with BCCI. Notably, the BCCI conducted the 2020 edition of the IPL in UAE across three venues, while this year’s tournament is being conducted in caravan format with teams staying at the same venue for a set number of fixtures before moving to another leg.

An ICC delegation alongside BCCI has zeroed in on nine venues for the T20 World Cup namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Mumbai. However, any firm decision is yet to be made with BCCI even mulling over a caravan model with the eight teams split across two venues at a time.