T20 WC shifted out of India to UAE and Oman

The T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in October-November, has been officially moved from India to UAE and Oman. The Indian cricket board, however, will remain the hosting board.

BCCI took the decision on Monday after evaluating the threat posed by Covid-19 in India. BCCI will now work with ICC to finalise the tournament schedule an eye on the remainder of this year’s IPL which precedes the cup. The IPL was stopped midway this summer amidst the devastating second wave of the pandemic.

The T20 World Cup is likely to start in Oman in the third week of October after the IPL final, which is slated to be played in mid-October.

The tentative plan is to play the IPL final on Oct 15 and begin the T20 World Cup qualifiers as early as Oct 17.

Sources said BCCI is flexible with the IPL plan and is even contemplating finishing the IPL on Oct 10, which is Sunday. The idea is to start the T20 World Cup within a week after the IPL finishes. ICC and BCCI are looking to have the T20 WC final on Nov 14.

“The dates haven’t been finalised. Even if the tournament starts on the heels of the IPL, it will not be much of a problem because the first 12 matches of the tournament will be played between the eight teams as qualifiers. Those matches will be played in Oman,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said.

The main leg of the T20 World Cup to be played between 12 teams — eight highest ranked T20I teams and four coming from the qualifiers — will start in the last week of Oct. That would leave the Indian players around 14 days between the two tournaments as mandated in the Justice Lodha committee recommendations.

Shifting the T20 World Cup to UAE means that the BCCI will not have to seek any tax exemption from the Indian government as demanded by the ICC. 

BCCI now will not have to fret about the Rs 905 crore (approx US $120 million) on which it had failed to get the full tax exemption from the government.

The BCCI is in touch with all other boards and is confident that it will be able to have a strong field of overseas players in the IPL. The board is trying to assure that every player will be looked after very well and all arrangements will be made by the board.

With the remainder of the IPL scheduled to be played in September-October, there have been reports that other boards may not allow their players to participate in the tournament.

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