Board of Control for Cricket in India remains hopeful of hosting the T20 World Cup in India
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remains hopeful of hosting the T20 World Cup in India and will accordingly communicate to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on or before the June 28 deadline.
The BCCI’s optimism stems from the decreasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the vaccination process which is expected to gather steam in the coming months and the gradual opening up of the economy.
The BCCI brass will meet in Mumbai later this week to discuss and chalk out their course of action.
Sources told The Telegraph that the number of venues would be cut down to six/seven from the initially proposed nine. While the three venues in Mumbai along with Pune have been shortlisted, the semi-finals and final will be held in Ahmedabad. The other venues will be agreed upon keeping in mind the bio-bubble restrictions and the Pakistan factor.
There is also a proposal to allow crowds in limited numbers into the stadium during the T20 World Cup. All such matters will be discussed in detail when the BCCI officials meet in Mumbai.
In case there is a surge in the number of cases leading up to the tournament in October, the BCCI feels it can always shift it to the UAE, which is the back-up venue, and there will be no problem with logistics. The remaining 31 matches of the IPL will be held there from September 18/19 with the final likely on October 15.
Another delicate issue has been the tax waiver sought by the ICC from the Indian government. Talks with the finance ministry are learnt to have been encouraging and a solution is expected soon.
The bulk of the credit for the ICC board members granting India almost a month’s time to decide on whether they can host the tournament should go to Sourav Ganguly. The BCCI president apparently put his foot down when a senior ICC events official firmly recommended that the T20 World Cup be moved out of India during the last (June 1) meeting itself.
The ICC’s apprehension had stemmed from the rising Covid-19 cases in India at that time and the BCCI is confident that they can allay such fears now.
“All around the world sport is happening amid the pandemic.
“The Olympics is set to take place in Tokyo despite reservations in certain quarters, the Euro Championships are on despite several parts of Europe still not being considered safe, the Copa America is to begin in Brazil in the face of Covid-19 concerns... So why can’t the T20 World Cup be held here if the numbers are within limits,” someone in the know of things told The Telegraph.