On Friday, BCCI’s Dhiraj Malhotra confirmed that the cricketing board is doing their best to host the global T20 event in India amidst the prevailing pandemic situation. However, he also revealed that in case of the situation not improving in the country, BCCI would host the WT20 in UAE.
When the Indian Premier League started, the COVID-19 situation in the country had not worsened to a point, where the tournament looked in jeopardy. However, just weeks after the start of the cash-rich event, the COVID-outbreak in India has forced several players to return home, citing the fear of the deadly virus.
Not just that, India are also crucially the host country for the 2021 edition of the World T20, scheduled to take place in the country from October. But, given the situation, especially with several travel restrictions and bans in place, it has started looking unlikely that BCCI may host the event in India. The rapid growth of the virus in the country has forced the citizens into a prolonged lockdown, with several thousand losses of life every day, to the global pandemic.
However, BCCI’s General Manager of Game Development, Dhiraj Malhotra confirmed that if the conditions become even worse or doesn’t drastically improve from the current situation, then the board would be forced to host the global event in the Middle East, a similar arrangement to the 2020 edition of the IPL.
"It (World T20 hosting) would be the UAE," Malhotra, who is the BCCI's General Manager of Game Development, told the BBC's Stumped podcast.
"We're hoping again that it would be done by the BCCI. So, we'll take the tournament there, but it'll still be done by the BCCI. I've just been named one of the tournament directors, so I'm doing everything we can to make sure it happens (in India),” he insisted.
BCCI are almost on the verge of completing the first month of the IPL action, without a major worry inside the bio-bubbles. However, Dhiraj insisted that the BCCI are looking at ticket sales, with people travelling from all over the world. At the same time, he pointed out that the situation has to improve drastically for that to become a reality.
"We will be doing normal scenario, COVID scenario and worst-case scenario, so with all that we're talking to the ICC at the moment.
"As of now, we are targeting and looking at ticket sales and people travelling from all over the world. But again, we don't know what the situation will be at that point in time (in October)," he added.