IPL 2021 suspension may force T20 World Cup shift

With teams reluctant to travel to India, the event could be moved to UAE

The BCCI’s decision to suspend the IPL midway through the edition could lead to the T20 World Cup being moved out of the country later this year.

India has been awarded the 16-team marquee event, scheduled to be played in October-November. But tournament director Dhiraj Malhotra had recently confirmed that the United Arab Emirates was a back-up venue for the tournament.

The IPL’s suspension will be a major roadblock in convincing the International Cricket Council (ICC) and participating cricket associations about the case for staging the event in India. Indeed, a BCCI official conceded that “it will be a miracle” if they agree to travel.

“It’s a major roadblock, with everyone being apprehensive. We are still confident of hosting the tournament and hope that the wave subsides and teams agree to travel to India. At the moment, it appears a distant possibility and we may have to host the event in UAE,” the official added.

The ICC Annual Conference in June is set to finalise the venue for the tournament.

Dry run

Despite multiple stakeholders, including key personnel in organising the event, having expressed apprehensions about hosting IPL 2021 in India during the pandemic, the BCCI went ahead with its plan to treat the event as a dry run for the T20 World Cup. Even in early March, a plan for staging the tournament in four venues in the Mumbai-Pune corridor, avoiding air travel, was presented to the BCCI top brass.

But the Board decided to take a calculated risk and finalised a caravan format with six host cities.

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