ICC to take call on T20 World Cup venue in July, India likely to remain host: Report
After the decision to suspend the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season amid the raging pandemic inside the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also faces a tricky situation to host the ICC T20 World Cup this year.The showpiece event is expected to be scheduled in October-November this year but with India struggling to deal with the second wave of Covid-19, many fear if the BCCI would be forced to take the T20 World Cup outside the country. As per a report in ANI, however, the International Cricket Council (ICC) hasn't put India out of contention as the tournament's venue and will wait till July to make the final decision."We're monitoring the situation and wait and watch is the best description at this stage. We probably wouldn't go much beyond July as it's a World Cup and they can't be pulled off in a matter of weeks!" an ICC board member explained. Covid cases in certain cities have started to come down while most states are enforcing lockdowns across the country. Such strict restrictions are bound to help the health authorities in their battle with the virus while vaccination for people between the age of 18 and 44 has also been started.The BCCI, hence, remains confident of going ahead with the original plan of hosting the T20 World Cup in India, expecting the spread of the virus to subside in the coming weeks."We are confident that the situation will improve in the coming days and the World Cup would go ahead in India as planned. We have zeroed in on nine venues and preparations are on and considering that we have quite a few more venues across the country, we can prepare back up venues within the country itself so that we do not burden the health infrastructure for a particular state or another in the eventuality that the situation has not returned to normal by the time of the showpiece event," a BCCI official told ANI. The BCCI plans to organise the T20 World Cup at 9 venues in the country. On April 16, the same was also discussed at an Apex Council meeting. The board was hopeful of hitting another milestone by successfully organising the IPL in the middle of the pandemic but that plan couldn't reach its conclusion."The BCCI and the IPL GC have unanimously decided to postpone the 2021 season till further notice. We don't wish to compromise the safety of the players, the people involved, the employees, the groundsmen, the match officials, every single person involved," the official said.