But, the marquee ICC event could be held in five cities instead of the nine originally shortlisted venues. As per convention, governing body ICC keeps a back-up country ready and it has been the UAE for the past one year. The IPL is currently on at different venues in separate bio-secure environments, but the BCCI will face, perhaps, its biggest test of managing a big-ticket ICC tournament in adverse circumstances.
“With five months left and significant population being vaccinated, we hope that we would be in a position to host the World T20. Yes, one of the options could be curtailing the nine venues to a maximum of four or five,” a senior BCCI office bearer told PTI on Friday.
An ICC spokesperson said that shifting the tournament to the UAE is not being considered at this stage. “We are monitoring the situation. It is too early to make a call. Our team didn’t travel as the UAE has shut its borders to India,” the ICC official said.
BCCI’s GM (Game Development) Dhiraj Malhotra was on Friday quoted as saying by the BBC that “UAE is the back-up venue”. However, an office bearer said that the UAE was always the second option as per rules.