With the surge in COVID-19 cases in India and with five months to go for the ICC T20 World Cup, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been put on standby as an alternative venue for the marquee event. According to a report in English newspaper Daily Mail, UAE could in all likelihood host the showpiece event if the current COVID-19 scenario in India does not improve.
While the International Cricket Council is mulling all options, it would be a big setback for fans in India if the tournament does not take place in the country.
“An ICC delegation is currently in India, which last week proposed nine venues for the month-long tournament, due to start midway through October and conclude with a final at the world’s biggest cricket ground — the 130,000-capacity stadium in Ahmedabad where England played several matches over winter — on November 13,” the report read
The T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held in Australia in the October-November window, but it was postponed by the ICC keeping the pandemic in mind. BCCI sensed an opportunity and capitalised on the window which had been created and went ahead with the IPL.
In 2020, UAE proved to be the saviour for BCCI last year permitting the IPL to be held in the middle-eastern country. The tournament proved to be a runaway success, which was least expected given the pandemic situation back then.
BCCI to let players decide on COVID-19 vaccination
Meanwhile, with the Indian government opening up the process of COVID-19 vaccination for every citizen above the age of 18 from May 1, all eyes are now on the cricketers who are plying their trade in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has left the decision of vaccination on the players.
Speaking to news agency ANI, sources in the know of developments in the BCCI said it is for players to decide on vaccination once the doors open for everyone above the age of 18 from May 1. “The Indian players can get vaccinated from Saturday. It is a call that is left on players,” the source said.
Asked if an exception can be made for the foreign players as well since there are players from England, Australia, South Africa and West Indies currently playing in the IPL, the source said: “Only the Indian players can get vaccinated here.”