UAE on standby for 2021 T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka too is a back up venue if original hosts India are unable to hold the showpiece because of the Covid-19 pandemic

  
Cricket - England v India - Third International T20 - The Brightside Ground, Bristol, Britain - July 8, 2018 India's Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma celebrate victory Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Cricket - England v India - Third International T20 - The Brightside Ground, Bristol, Britain - July 8, 2018 India's Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma celebrate victory Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes. Image used for illustrative purpose.

In a further boost for the UAE and its well-known credentials of being a world-class venue, the country is in the frame to host the T20 World Cup in 2021, if it cannot be staged in India.

After the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chose the UAE to hold the world's richest franchise-based league, the Indian Premier League (IPL), there could quite possibly be more cricket coming our way.

India are the original hosts of the T20 World Cup in 2021 and according to report on ESPNCricinfo, the UAE have been placed on standby in case India are unable to hold the showpiece because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having venues on standby is standard practice and the island nation of Sri Lanka is also a backup option for the tournament, apart from the UAE.

India has been one of the worst affected countries in the world because of the raging pandemic with the country topping the list in Asia and third on the world list behind the USA and Brazil. India currently has 661,274 active cases with the total number of cases shooting up to 2,434,853, with 47,542 deaths.

The UAE has been at the forefront in the battle against the virus and has managed to control the spread.

With the BCCI unable to hold the delayed 13th edition of IPL in India in the current scenario and with the UAE doing admirably well in creating a safe environment with strict health protocols, the country emerged as the frontrunner to host the league.

The IPL will be staged at the three world-class venues - the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium - from September 19 to November 10.

The UAE is also home to the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters.

The ICC had announced last week that India retained their right as hosts of the 2021 event with it scheduled to take place in October and November. This year's tournament, which had been penciled in from October 18 to November 15, was postponed to 2022.

India are also scheduled to host the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

The UAE has hosted top notch cricket tournaments since 1996. The country has played hosts to Pakistan's bilateral series, the Asia Cup, the Abu Dhabi T10 League, the Afghanistan Premier League, apart from numerous ICC events.

If the pandemic shows no signs of abating in India, the UAE could be on the radar as hosts for 2021, including quite possibly next year's IPL as well.

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