The International Cricket Council (ICC) today 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 17 October to 14 November 2021.
ICC confirmed the news through a press release on Tuesday.
"Our priority is to deliver the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 safely, in full and in its current window. 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," acting ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said.
BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, said that the BCCI made every effort to stage the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in India but the persisting Covid situation didn't allow them to do so.
"The prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned were fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature is 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."
Oman Cricket Chairman, Pankaj Khimji said that it is indeed a great moment for Oman Cricket to be selected as a venue/host of the forthcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
"We shall leave no stone unturned to exceed the requirements of BCCI and ICC. Oman will certainly extend a very warm welcome to all the teams, officials and media in October."
To ease the burden on the pitches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah where 31 IPL games will be played over 25 days, it has been decided to stage the initial round of the 16-team world event in Oman. Eight teams—Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman and Papua New Guinea will battle it out for the four qualifying spots in the Super 12s.
India would have gone seven years without hosting a world event on its soil as the next opportunity will come only in 2023 when it stages the ODI World Cup. The last ICC event in India was the 2016 T20 World Cup.