BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirms that the highly-awaited T20 World Cup 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India – BCCI – has formally informed the ICC about their decision to shift the quadrennial event from India to UAE. BCCI said it will not be possible to host the 16-team tournament in India due to the pandemic.

“We have officially intimated the ICC that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. The details are being chalked out,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told PTI.

Earlier this month, ICC had given BCCI a deadline till June 28 to inform whether it is in a position to conduct the showpiece event in the country.

But the BCCI top brass said on Monday that even though the Board will have the hosting rights, the tournament will now be held across four cities – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Muscat – between October 17 and November 14.

“Due to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we may shift the tournament to UAE. We are monitoring the situation closely, the health and safety of players are paramount we will take a final call soon,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah had earlier told ANI.

Meanwhile, the Indian Premier League’s 14th edition will also be completed in the UAE. The IPL is set to get underway on September 19 and the final is to be played on October 15. This would also mean that it is just before the T20 World Cup.

And that has seen franchises sweating over whether foreign players would be made available to them. Some of the franchises are planning to have their officials head to the UAE post-July 6 to finalise the logistics, keeping a strict eye on the COVID-19 protocols.