The International Cricket Council has announced that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the upcoming T20 World Cup regardless of where the event is played. The T20 extravaganza is scheduled to start from October 18 in India, but the spike in COVID-19 cases in the past couple of months is making things difficult for BCCI to host the tournament in the country.

The ICC has stated that the final decision on the hosting country will be taken by the end of June. Meanwhile, it requested the management to start planning efforts to stage the tournament in the UAE or another venue in the Middle East.

“The ICC Board has requested management focus its planning efforts for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East. A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month. The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played,” ICC said in a statement.

Recently, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla has claimed that the cricket board’s first priority is to host the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup in India

“That issue also has been deliberated. Our first choice is India. So we will be seeking some time from the ICC, a month or so, to decide about it,” Shukla told Khaleej Times.

The BCCI vice president further said that if the situation didn’t improve in India then the tournament will be moved to the UAE.

“If towards the end of June or maybe, the first week of July, the situation is not good there (India), then obviously it (T20 World Cup) will come to the UAE. If the situation improves (in India) and we are able to host it, then we will be hosting there (in India),” he added.

The Indian cricket governing body has already moved the remaining matches of Indian Premier League 2021 to UAE.