It looks like the UAE is being considered as a host nation for the highly-anticipated T20 cricket world cup as a contingency plan for India due to the spike of Coronavirus cases it’s facing.
Since last September, Coronavirus cases saw a downhill trend from an average of 90,000-odd cases to its lowest count of 9,102 cases in January, but the following month had a gradual increase in daily cases varying between 12,000-15,000 cases every day and the last one month witnessed daily cases go up to beyond 300,000 infections.
Yesterday, India had a whopping 386,555 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Given the viral outbreak of the virus over the last month, the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI), responsible for hosting the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) T20 World Cup in India this October, is considering the UAE as an alternative venue if the country remains unable to combat the fatal disease.
Dhiraj Malhotra, General Manager of the BCCI, told BBC News “it’s too early to say what will happen. But the contingency plan is that it would go to UAE with the hosting rights staying with BCCI.”
Meanwhile, the UAE ranks among the top countries for handling the pandemic, with 1,974 cases reported yesterday. The country also boasts a reputation for manufacturing Coronavirus vaccines and its vaccination drive.
Last year, the UAE hosted the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), featuring eight teams squaring off the Dubai Cricket Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, as well as the Asia Cup in 2018.
16 teams are poised to participate in this year’s T20 World Cup from 18th October to 15th November, featuring the top ten cricketing nations, in addition to six qualifying associate teams: Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Namibia, Scotland and Oman.
(Featured photograph credit: International Cricket Council)