Oman in talks with ICC, BCCI to host WT20 matches
The ICC and BCCI are in talks with Oman Cricket over hosting a few of the T20 World Cup matches later this year in the Gulf nation, an official has confirmed. Earlier this week, the BCCI had given BCCI a month's time to show its readiness to host the tournament in October-November. However, India's chances of hosting the tournament are unlikely. Here's more.
Hosting the WT20 in India unlikely due to COVID-19 situation
The ICC T20 World Cup in India is not expected to go ahead because of the expected third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. India is currently reeling with coronavirus and holding sporting events may just not be possible. Earlier, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended midway through the tourney by the BCCI after several players tested positive.
ICC looking at a venue besides the UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is on standby to host the T20 World Cup. UAE will also be hosting the remainder of the IPL 2021 season in September-October. To ease the workload on the UAE, the ICC is also looking at Oman to host a few matches. The ICC has approached Oman for the same and talks are progressing with BCCI as well.
Oman Cricket has been approached by the ICC
Oman Cricket secretary Madhu Jesrani said that the ICC has approached them and the body's chairman is in talks with the BCCI. "We have been approached by ICC and the chairman of Oman Cricket, Pankaj Khimji, is in talks with the BCCI which is due to host the tournament," he told IANS from Muscat.
Oman ready to host a few World T20 matches
He said Oman is ready and the details have been shared with the ICC. "The talks with BCCI have just started. The ICC asked us for certain things that they are looking at in a hosting venue and we have given them the details. We have told them that we are ready. We have two turf pitch grounds, including one with floodlights," added Jesrani.
Why is the ICC thinking about shifting a few matches?
There are three venues in the UAE to host cricket and after the IPL, the burden on the pitched will be massive. To ease the burden, the ICC is thus contemplating shifting some games to another nation like Oman. The pitches won't last for two successive tournaments with more than 70 matches on offer.
Muscat zeroed in for the preliminary rounds
A senior board official of Oman Cricket told PTI that Muscat has been zeroed in specifically for the preliminary rounds of the 16-team competition. This will also allow the three UAE grounds to get sufficient time to freshen up. He said the UAE leg of the World T20 can start in November which will allow the pitches to be spruced up for the event.
BCCI retains hosting rights regardless of venue
Recently, the ICC said that a final decision on the venue for the T20 World Cup will be taken later this month. The governing body also clarified that the BCCI will retain the hosting rights regardless of the venue.